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This book places the performative gesture at the centre of debate between literature, theatre and cinema. This new study examines the representation of gesture in modernist writing, performance and cinema. Deploying a new theoretical term, 'the speech-gesture complex', Anthony Paraskeva identifies a relationship between speech and gesture which is neither exclusively literary nor performative and which, he argues, is fundamental to the aesthetics and politics of modernist authors. In discussions of works by Franz Kafka, James Joyce, Henry James, Wyndham Lewis, Vladimir Nabokov and Samuel Beckett, Paraskeva shows how this relationship is closely informed by their attention to the performed gestures of actors in theatre and cinema. It provides new close readings of major and neglected work by Kafka, Joyce, Henry James, Wyndham Lewis, Nabokov and Beckett, revealing their complex relations with both theatre and cinema. It establishes a new critical-theoretical category, and highlights an unexplored dialogue between Ibsen, Benjamin, Adorno, Griffith, Eisenstein, Chaplin, Brecht, Artaud, Lang, Meyerhold, Duse and Garbo. It analyses central and neglected modernist texts alongside stage productions, styles of acting, film history and performance theory.