‘Cold War Modernists: Art, Literature, & American Cultural Diplomacy’: the … – Pittsburgh Post

During the 1950s, novelist William Faulkner traveled abroad frequently as part of a diplomatic initiative sponsored by the United States Information Agency. Along with warnings about the prospects of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, Faulkner endorsed individualism, creativity and democracy.

Asked about problems associated with American troops stationed in small countries during a visit to Iceland, Faulkner said: “Is it not better to have American forces here in the name of freedom than a Russian one in the name of aggression and violence?”

As Duquesne University English professor Greg Barnhisel reminds us, Faulkner’s forays as a cultural ambassador were part of a conscious strategy by Cold Warriors inside and outside the U.S. government.

Their intention was to use modernist art and literature to demonstrate to audiences around the globe that American culture was superior to the “socialist realism” and suppression of expression practiced in the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites.


Article source: http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/books/2015/03/29/Cold-War-Modernists-Art-Literature-American-Cultural-Diplomacy-the-arsenal-of-ideas/stories/201503290021

This entry was posted in Fine Art News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.