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Transnationality, Internationalism and Nationhood
European Avant-Garde in the First Half of the Twentieth Century


Editors:  van den Berg H.F., Gluchowska L.

Year: 2013
ISBN: 978-90-429-2756-8
Pages: XXII-255 p.
Price: 54 EURO

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New means of transport and communication allowed unprecedented mobility of people, goods and ideas in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, which contributed to far-reaching economic, social and political changes in a first wave of globalisation. In its genuine transnationality, the European historical avant-garde can be seen as a product of this development. Cosmpolitanism, internationality and internationalism became emblems of the avant-garde in its pursuit of a ‘new’, modern international culture trangressing ‘old’ borders and limitations dictated by conceptions of nationhood, linguistic restrictions, and state boundaries. Simultaneously, national and nationalist reflexes can be traced in the avant-garde as well – in a European context marked by a plethora of competing nationalisms.

This collection of essays focuses on the transnationality and inter-nationalisms in the European avant-garde as well as on conflicts, paradoxes and debates in the avant-garde as genuinely transnational configuration of artistic movements, which possessed nevertheless many nationalist edges. The book presents a panorama of the historical avant-garde oscillating and operating between transnationality, internationalism and nationalisms of different kinds, both in national cultural fields and a transnational European arena – from Iceland to Greece and from the Pale of Settlement to the Atlantic.

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