Canal zone modernism: Cendrars, Walrond, and Stevens at the “suction sea”

Harris Feinsod*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This essay is a narrowly drawn exercise in comparison at a narrow passage of marine transit—the Panama Canal Zone. It argues that the spatial typology of the “zone” might supply one of the figures for a tropological history of comparative modernism at sea. The essay follows disparate works—by the Swiss avant-garde poet Blaise Cendrars, the West Indian writers Claude McKay and Eric Walrond, the Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal, and the American modernist poet Wallace Stevens—into the space of conflicts and disparities that characterizes the Canal Zone as a peculiar choke point of maritime globalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-128
Number of pages13
JournalEnglish Language Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Blaise Cendrars
  • Eric Walrond
  • Panama Canal
  • Transoceanic modernism
  • Wallace Stevens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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