The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban Literary Studies

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeremy Tambling

Modernist Paris

  • Václav Paris
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-62592-8_19-1

Definition

Paris in the early twentieth century, through the eyes of modernist writers.

Introduction

From its beginnings, modernist literature was predominantly an urban phenomenon. Growing out of new technologies, new ways of life, and new ideas, its most fertile soil was found in big cities rather than the provinces. As the concept “modernism” has been theorized, the cities in turn have come to be tied up with our understanding of what it constituted. As Susan Stanford Friedman writes, “modernism has been definitionally linked with the metropolitan centers of nations and empires, most particularly, the great ‘culture capitals’ of Europe and the United States — preeminently Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, New York, and Moscow” (2007: 35).

It is no accident that Paris is the first name in Friedman’s list. During the first half of the twentieth century, Paris was the destination par excellence for innovative writers and artists. Almost all of the major figures associated with modernism...

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References

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.City College of New yorkNew YorkUSA