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Noël Coward, Rebecca West, and the Modernist Scene

Noël Coward, Rebecca West, and the Modernist Scene <jats:p> Noël Coward and Rebecca West shared a long friendship, and often met each other at theatrical openings, on transatlantic liners, and at parties hosted by the ‘international set’. Their wary negotiation with one another's celebrity and cultural value played out not only at these social events but also in print, through reviews, gossip columns, and memoirs. Using the relationship between Coward and West as a case study, this essay explores the social scene of modernism, paying particular attention to the suggestion of theatricality in the word ‘scene’. It takes up the notion of the ‘modernist party’ as, on the one hand, a kind of stage on which celebrities from different spheres performed together, and, on the other, a happening which, through reports in print, contributed to the forming of literary reputations and to the public fascination with modern style. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Noël Coward, Rebecca West, and the Modernist Scene

Modernist Cultures , Volume 11 (3): 351 – Nov 1, 2016

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2016
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2016.0145
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> Noël Coward and Rebecca West shared a long friendship, and often met each other at theatrical openings, on transatlantic liners, and at parties hosted by the ‘international set’. Their wary negotiation with one another's celebrity and cultural value played out not only at these social events but also in print, through reviews, gossip columns, and memoirs. Using the relationship between Coward and West as a case study, this essay explores the social scene of modernism, paying particular attention to the suggestion of theatricality in the word ‘scene’. It takes up the notion of the ‘modernist party’ as, on the one hand, a kind of stage on which celebrities from different spheres performed together, and, on the other, a happening which, through reports in print, contributed to the forming of literary reputations and to the public fascination with modern style. </jats:p>

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2016

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