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Alexandra Ksenofontova, The Modernist Screenplay: Experimental Writing for Silent Film

Alexandra Ksenofontova, The Modernist Screenplay: Experimental Writing for Silent Film BOOK REVIEW Alexandra Ksenofontova, The Modernist Screenplay: Experimental Writing for Silent Film (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). ix + 241 pp. ISBN: 9783030505882. In 1929, German writer and film director Hans Kyser declared the screenplay ‘the least known and the least literary form of literature’. Kyser’s characterisation is reflected in the still scant critical attention the filmic screenplay has received from scholars of modernist literatures. Screenplays have remained disregarded and invisible texts, as the uncle in the attic for much of film’s history and the ‘rejected offspring’ of cinema’s business world, amounting to merely ‘incomplete’ entities (an idea notably put forward by Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1965) or stage documents in the creation of the ‘real work’ – another object in a different medium (namely, a film). With the exception of Christophe Wall-Romana’s consideration of French interwar poem-scenarios, film scripts have also surprisingly been overlooked by most literary scholars, conspicuously absent in the burgeoning scholarship exploring the modernist literature-film nexus, dismissed, perhaps, as interstitial literary products bound to the commercial concerns of the film industry, or simply unknown. For these reasons alone, Alexandra Ksenofontova’s study of the early film screenplay as a genre of modernist literature at the crossroads http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Alexandra Ksenofontova, The Modernist Screenplay: Experimental Writing for Silent Film

Modernist Cultures , Volume 17 (2): 6 – May 1, 2022

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2022.0372
Publisher site
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Abstract

BOOK REVIEW Alexandra Ksenofontova, The Modernist Screenplay: Experimental Writing for Silent Film (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). ix + 241 pp. ISBN: 9783030505882. In 1929, German writer and film director Hans Kyser declared the screenplay ‘the least known and the least literary form of literature’. Kyser’s characterisation is reflected in the still scant critical attention the filmic screenplay has received from scholars of modernist literatures. Screenplays have remained disregarded and invisible texts, as the uncle in the attic for much of film’s history and the ‘rejected offspring’ of cinema’s business world, amounting to merely ‘incomplete’ entities (an idea notably put forward by Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1965) or stage documents in the creation of the ‘real work’ – another object in a different medium (namely, a film). With the exception of Christophe Wall-Romana’s consideration of French interwar poem-scenarios, film scripts have also surprisingly been overlooked by most literary scholars, conspicuously absent in the burgeoning scholarship exploring the modernist literature-film nexus, dismissed, perhaps, as interstitial literary products bound to the commercial concerns of the film industry, or simply unknown. For these reasons alone, Alexandra Ksenofontova’s study of the early film screenplay as a genre of modernist literature at the crossroads

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: May 1, 2022

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