Transnationality, Internationalism and Nationhood
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.