Cultural Cross-Purposes – What Binds Europe?

As Europe’s countries tie themselves closer, one wonders about what ties them together culturally. “The union’s old and new members alike know surprisingly little about one another’s artistic inventiveness today. Creative life may be flourishing in widely different ways across Europe, but the most common cultural link across the region now is a devotion to American popular culture in the form of movies, television and music. In a Europe committed to seeking ‘ever closer union,’ where a dozen countries already share a currency, culture seems to have fallen out of step. Even as Europeans visit one another’s cities and beaches more than ever, national self-obsessions prevail in the visual arts, new plays, literature, contemporary classical music, pop music and movies.”