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The New Europe and the New World: Eliot, Masaryk, and the Geopolitics of National Culture

The New Europe and the New World: Eliot, Masaryk, and the Geopolitics of National Culture <jats:p> This paper asserts that while geo-politics is too often treated as an extrinsic force in cultural studies, it is in fact a culturally constitutive force and geo-political cultural actors should be treated as a dominant force in (national-) cultural formation. This is of especial importance in the relationship between Europe and the United States. The paper makes this point by comparing the cultural-political objectives of T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound to the objectives of Thomas Masaryk. While the former are much-celebrated as cultural figures, they were only marginally and indirectly effective on the course of the shaping of European geo-politics. Although they frequently addressed such topics and plainly wished that their voices could be heard, they are mainly commentators. By contrast, Masaryk was the philosophy professor who founded the Czech nation in 1918 from his base at the School of Slavonic Studies at King's College London. The paper makes specific reference to Masaryk's methods of gaining influence in the United States, and with Woodrow Wilson in particular. Masaryk was an effective transnational cultural actor and his case therefore serves to expand the category of the transnational culture-subject beyond examples such as Ezra Pound, a tragic victim of geopolitics, or Eliot, whose strategy of American intervention in Europe was a commentary on actions and outcomes shaped by others. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

The New Europe and the New World: Eliot, Masaryk, and the Geopolitics of National Culture

Modernist Cultures , Volume 11 (1): 8 – Mar 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.2016.0123
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> This paper asserts that while geo-politics is too often treated as an extrinsic force in cultural studies, it is in fact a culturally constitutive force and geo-political cultural actors should be treated as a dominant force in (national-) cultural formation. This is of especial importance in the relationship between Europe and the United States. The paper makes this point by comparing the cultural-political objectives of T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound to the objectives of Thomas Masaryk. While the former are much-celebrated as cultural figures, they were only marginally and indirectly effective on the course of the shaping of European geo-politics. Although they frequently addressed such topics and plainly wished that their voices could be heard, they are mainly commentators. By contrast, Masaryk was the philosophy professor who founded the Czech nation in 1918 from his base at the School of Slavonic Studies at King's College London. The paper makes specific reference to Masaryk's methods of gaining influence in the United States, and with Woodrow Wilson in particular. Masaryk was an effective transnational cultural actor and his case therefore serves to expand the category of the transnational culture-subject beyond examples such as Ezra Pound, a tragic victim of geopolitics, or Eliot, whose strategy of American intervention in Europe was a commentary on actions and outcomes shaped by others. </jats:p>

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2016

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