The American Roadside in Émigré Literature, Film, and Photography


  • Elsa Court

Part of the Studies in Mobilities, Literature, and Culture book series (SMLC)

About this book


The American Roadside in Émigré Literature, Film, and Photography: 1955–1985 traces the origin of a postmodern iconography of mobile consumption equating roadside America with an authentic experience of the United States through the postwar road narrative, a narrative which, Elsa Court argues, has been shaped by and through white male émigré narratives of the American road, in both literature and visual culture. While stressing that these narratives are limited in their understanding of the processes of exclusion and unequal flux in experiences of modern automobility, the book works through four case studies in the American works of European-born authors Vladimir Nabokov, Robert Frank, Alfred Hitchcock, and Wim Wenders to unveil an early phenomenology of the postwar American highway, one that anticipates the works of late-twentieth-century spatial theorists Jean Baudrillard, Michel Foucault, and Marc Augé and sketches a postmodern aesthetic of western mobility and consumption that has become synonymous with contemporary America.


emigre literature American road trip narrative American roadside On the Road Jack Kerouac Vladimir Nabokov Robert Frank Alfred Hitchcock American postwar culture mobility studies mobility literary studies marginality in literature travel writing travel history dislocation in literature

Authors and affiliations

  • Elsa Court
    • 1
  1. 1.Queen Mary University of LondonLondonUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-36732-9
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-36733-6
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