Download A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in by Jed Esty PDF
By Jed Esty
This ebook describes an incredible literary tradition stuck within the act of turning into minor. In 1939, Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary, ''Civilisation has shrunk.'' Her phrases captured not just the onset of global struggle II, but in addition a longer-term reversal of nationwide fortune. the 1st entire account of modernism and imperialism in England, A Shrinking Island tracks the joint eclipse of modernist aesthetics and British energy from the literary experiments of the Thirties throughout the upward thrust of cultural reports within the 1950s.
Jed Esty explores the results of declining empire on modernist form--and at the very that 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 experiences pioneers (Raymond Williams and E. P. Thompson) to postwar migrant writers (George Lamming and Doris Lessing). concentrating on writing that converts the aptitude strength 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 dying of English literature. It portrays the survivors of the modernist iteration no longer as aesthetic dinosaurs, yet as members within the transition from empire to welfare kingdom, 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.
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A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England
This booklet describes an important literary tradition stuck within the act of turning into minor. In 1939, Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary, ''Civilisation has gotten smaller. '' Her phrases captured not just the onset of worldwide warfare II, but in addition a longer-term reversal of nationwide fortune. the 1st complete 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 Nineteen Thirties during the upward push of cultural reviews within the Nineteen Fifties.
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Additional resources for A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England
The confrontation with an expan- M O D E R N I S M A ND M E T R O P O L I TA N P E R C E P TI O N 39 sionist, racist Germany provided English intellectuals with an unﬂattering reﬂection of their own imperial system. ”64 Similarly, in the 1941 essay “Tolerance,” E. M. ”65 Like many writers at the time, Forster was seeking ways to redeﬁne England as a coherent community without tripping into ethnic absolutism. The invocation of inherited, rather than state-produced, unity became a crucial element of Anglocentric discourse on both the right and left.
11 Nevertheless, from the point of view of cultural history, and modernistera English writing in particular, British expansion tended symbolically to afﬁrm the material triumphs of an industrialized, enterprising, and forward-looking middle-class society. Imperialism, in other words, may always have signiﬁed a crisis within industrial capitalism and may have had mixed and even anachronistic political effects in England, but culturally it was an index of progress and therefore of the disintegrating effects of global modernity on local cultures both at home and abroad.
It stands not just for contracting spatial hegemony but for a faltering in the temporal concept of modernity itself—a faltering from which no modernism could emerge untransformed. ONE MODERNISM AND METROPOLITAN PERCEPTION IN ENGLAND The Other Side of the Hedge T HE UNNAMED protagonist in E. M. Forster’s 1904 fable “The Other Side of the Hedge” confronts a bifurcated world. As the story begins, he is walking on a gray, featureless, and apparently endless Road, bounded on one side by a thick hedge.