The Modernist Atlantic

Martin Halliwell

in The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199545445
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 The Modernist Atlantic

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  • Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)


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This article examines the trend in recent scholarship to look beyond the borders of nation states to consider the ways in which American and European versions of modernism were intertwined rather than categorically distinct trends. It analyses German-American director Josef von Sternberg's 1932 film Blonde Venus and suggests that the film offers two interesting starting points for a consideration of the modernist Atlantic in the early twentieth century. The article explains that the film indicates that the Atlantic passage was rarely a one-way journey or one with a fixed destination, and that it also brought modernist aesthetics to the foreground.

Keywords: modernism; nation states; American modernism; European modernism; Josef von Sternberg; Blonde Venus; modernist aesthetics

Article.  7373 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards) ; Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)

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