The rest in the west

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During the 20th century, modernism has moved from continent to continent and has become a worldwide phenomenon. The rest of the West examines what happens when we ask 'where was modernism?' and 'who was modernist?' instead of just asking 'when was modernism?'

Bergur Rønne Moberg reads modernism into a world literary context with lines of force between continental novel classics by Thomas Mann and Albert Camus and Atlantic experiences of four Faroese novelists: William Heinesen, Jørgen-Frantz Jacobsen, Jens Pauli Heinesen and Gunnar Hoydal. The emphasis is thus placed on Faroese literature, which has created a number of works of international format, which can contribute to a literary historical revision of modernism and thereby put conventional literary historical models, dichotomous structures and narrow distinctions under pressure.

The geographically anchored modernism of world literature differs from the classical modernist focus on formal elements by not privileging the radically new according to a Western-avant-garde pattern. The difference becomes clear due to the ballast of geography, culture, history and politics with which the Faroese writers think, and which gives birth to a different perception of development and originality than the Euro-American one. Faroese poetry generally functions in line with non-Western literatures and comparatively links to an undervalued wealth of material in both European modernism and in modernism in a global sense.

The 'Rest in the West' perspective takes shape as a response from a small European culture such as the Faroese to main currents in Western thinking.