13 jun. 2011

European or American?

In peninsular (Spanish) literature many scholars refer to modernism as a European movement, which is funny, because I grew up thinking of it as an American movement arising from the Pound / Eliot or Pound / Williams / H.D. clusters. French surrealists never thought of themselves as "modernists," for example. It was only after the Anglo-American concept spread to other fields that we started talking about modernism to refer to European "modernism" on the continent. Within English departments I think people still think of modernism as something that happened mostly in the English language.

That's not to say that that we can't talk about Kafka as a modernist, for example. I'm just talking about the term "modernist" itself which as far as I know wasn't used in French, if it even is today, for "modernism." Blanchot, for example, doesn't talk about "modernisme" to talk about his pantheon of writers.

3 comentarios:

Vance Maverick dijo...

The French seem well aware of the gap between their terms "modernité" and "modernisme", and "les termes anglais de 'Modernism' ... et allemand de 'Moderne'". In particular the sense meaning "on or about December 1910" doesn't seem to have an equivalent in French (though human character changed there too, as notably as anywhere).

Professor Zero dijo...

- I think human nature is supposed to have changed in France with Apollinaire. I just found an old article that appears to suggest that "Zone" changed / surpassed the terms ancient and modern.

- I am kind of addicted to the Berman idea of "modernist" as a reaction of sorts to modernity.

- What do you think of the Soufas book on Spanish "modernism" (I have not read it)? http://books.google.com/books/about/The_subject_in_question.html?id=qnOEdo4tDTkC ... his point is that people don't talk about Spanish lit when they talk about modernism in Europe, and they should ... I'm not sure the problem is that Spanish lit has not defined itself as being part of "modernism," though ...

Andrew Shields dijo...

My immediate thought was "what about the painters?"