‘the blood, the noise, the endless poetry…’
War, communism, secret archives, and poetry: this month’s issue of the Modernist Review has it all.
Matthew Chambers kicks things off with a special double book review, following Matthew Taunton’s double book launch in April and May of 2019. He praises A History of 1930s British Literature (edited by Benjamin Kohlmann and Taunton) for the variety of its critical approaches, and the rigour which enables the volume’s huge range of authors to challenge canonical readings, encouraging readers to look at what is familiar in a different light. As for Red Britain, it examines the pervasive influence of the Russian Revolution on British mid-century culture, drawing on a study of multiple writers such as H. G. Wells, G. K. Chesterton, Stephen Spender, Arthur Koestler, and Dorothy Richardson. According to Chambers, the book offers ‘a thorough, clear, and fresh way through [the] archive’ which ‘provides a substantive alternative to tired discussions on art and politics, literature and culture, class, Auden, Spain, and so forth.’