By Jed Esty
This publication describes a huge literary tradition stuck within the act of changing into minor. In 1939, Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary, ''Civilisation has shrunk.'' Her phrases captured not just the onset of worldwide warfare II, but additionally a longer-term reversal of nationwide fortune. the 1st finished account of modernism and imperialism in England, A Shrinking Island tracks the joint eclipse of modernist aesthetics and British strength from the literary experiments of the Thirties throughout the upward thrust of cultural experiences within the 1950s.
Jed Esty explores the consequences of declining empire on modernist form--and at the very which means of Englishness. He levels from canonical figures (T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf) to influential midcentury intellectuals (J. M. Keynes and J.R.R. Tolkien), from cultural reports pioneers (Raymond Williams and E. P. Thompson) to postwar migrant writers (George Lamming and Doris Lessing). targeting writing that converts the aptitude power of the contracting British country into the language of insular integrity, he argues that an anthropological ethos of cultural holism got here domestic to roost in late-imperial England. Esty's interpretation demanding situations renowned myths in regards to the demise of English literature. It portrays the survivors of the modernist iteration now not as aesthetic dinosaurs, yet as contributors within the transition from empire to welfare nation, from metropolitan paintings to nationwide tradition. blending literary feedback with postcolonial conception, his account of London modernism's end-stages and after-lives offers a clean tackle significant works whereas redrawing the strains among modernism and postmodernism.
Read or Download A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England PDF
Similar british & irish books
Makes a speciality of drama, brief tales, novels, and poetry as they're studied in highschool and faculty curricula. focusing on the most authors, works, and hobbies that contain every one style, those books additionally comprise minor authors and works. they're outlined via geography and by way of period of time, reminiscent of 20th-century poetry or classical drama.
Molly, an eighty-year-old artist, drowns in her bathtub whereas residing on my own on Vancouver Island. while her son, Toronto author and photographer Michael Mitchell, arrives day after today he reveals a studio packed with her work and a treasure trove of relations papers that take him on a romantic trip to the a ways corners of the realm and again so far as the early 18th century.
The Prince of Wales has requested 4 prosperous marketers and their other halves to Buckingham Palace to debate a lovely concept: the development of a six-thousand-mile railroad that will stretch the complete size of Africa. however the prince’s collecting proves disastrous while the mutilated physique of a prostitute turns up in a linen closet one of the queen’s monogrammed sheets.
In renowned mind's eye, London is a urban of fog. The vintage London fogs, the thick yellow “pea-soupers,” have been born within the commercial age of the early 19th century. the 1st globally infamous example of pollution, they remained a continuing function of chilly, windless iciness days until eventually fresh air laws within the Nineteen Sixties led to their loss of life.
- Benang: From the Heart
- Retreat into the Mind: Victorian Poetry and the Rise of Psychiatry
- Joyce's Book of the Dark: Finnegans Wake (Mark H Ingraham Prize)
- Ian Hamilton Finlay : selections
- Lord Byron at Harrow School: speaking out, talking back, acting up, bowing out
Additional resources for A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England
G. Frazer’s encyclopedic mythography, The Golden Bough (a famous source text for both Eliot and Lawrence). A stream of people, ideas, objects, and aesthetics was ﬂowing from the exotic fringes toward the metropolis, shaping and inﬂecting modernist form. Along these lines, Kumkum Sangari suggests this summary of metropolitan culture: “the freewheeling appropriations of modernism also coincide with and are dependent on the rigorous documentation, inventory, and reclassiﬁcation of ‘Third World’ cultural products by the museum/library archive.
C. Powys and Charles Williams). Eliot and Forster experimented with the production of pageant-plays, while Woolf’s ﬁnal novel, Between the Acts, takes a village pageant as its central subject. Few critics have taken account of this antiquarian, distinctly unmodernist genre, but its sudden prominence points up key dimensions of English modernism’s closing chapter. Modernist interest in folk-dramatic forms no doubt reﬂects at some level the need to establish alternative public ceremonies to the corporatist rituals of fascist Europe (and to mass cultural forms at home), but this renewed interest in native and Anglocentric rituals also takes shape within the broader logic of the anthropological turn.
Both have a common prehistory and also common enemies in the narrow formations and groupings, whose striving for self-preservation set them in conﬂict with the broad and general 34 CHAPTER ONE on the outside, as well as the freely mobile and individual on the inside. . It is not only the immediate size of the area and population which, on the basis of world-historical correlation between the increase in the size of the social unit and the degree of personal inner and outer freedom, makes the metropolis the locus of this condition.
A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England by Jed Esty