Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Palmer, Barton



The study of Modernism has often been divided by a seemingly unbridgeable gap between what has been deemed 'high' art, esoteric works intended for the privileged few, and 'low' culture-works intended for the groveling masses. In the first category are traditional art forms such as painting, sculpture, and literature. The lower art forms include mass-produced works that are accessible by design. Until the latter portion of the previous century the cinema, arguably the most important artistic medium of the twentieth century has been assessed as merely disposable popular culture, an 'other' to the world of traditional 'high' art.
This is no longer the case. Cinema studies have emerged as an accepted discipline across the academy. However, many scholars have overlooked the direct correlation between literary modernism and the maturation of the cinema. It is my intent to prove that literary modernism and the cinema are bound by a common language as well as a common desire to make artistic meaning in a ruptured world. Therefore, I find it imperative to study not only the influence of literature on the cinema, but also the enormous contribution cinematic tropes have made on the development of many of the most renowned works of literary modernism.



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