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Book Review: British Literature and Culture in Second World Wartime

4 August 2020

Kevin Neuroth, Humboldt University of Berlin and King’s College London

Beryl Pong, British Literature and Culture in Second World Wartime (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)

In our understanding of modernism – both as a cultural movement and as a historical process – the First World War occupies a central place. There is a broad consensus among scholars that the experiences of the years 1914-18 played a central role in the development of the high modernism of the 1920s, from the experience of shell shock represented in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925) to the mood of civilisational collapse pervading T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922). By comparison, the 1930s and 1940s remain under-researched. In her book Modernism and World War II (2007), Marina MacKay (University of Oxford) argues for the ‘historical and political’ importance of late modernism and wonders why so ‘little of the [Second World] war’s literature has ever fully registered on the critical field of vision’[1]. Continue reading “Book Review: British Literature and Culture in Second World Wartime”

‘Unreal City’: Storm Jameson, Modernism and The Waste Land

Jake O’Leary, University of Bristol

This article is a modified version of a paper delivered at the June 2019 conference of the British Association of Modernist Studies, Troublesome Modernisms. In line with current scholarly attempts to incorporate figures traditionally thought of as non-modernist into Modernist Studies – attempts productively and discomfortingly discussed in a recent issue of The Modernist Review – it examines Storm Jameson’s relationship to modernism in general and T. S. Eliot in particular. Although Jameson had institutional links to modernism and used its aesthetic innovations – most notably, montage – in her work, she critiqued it for neglecting interwar British politics and socio-economic deprivation.[1] In Jameson’s trilogy of novels, The Mirror in Darkness (1934-36), this critique manifested itself as an intertextual engagement with The Waste Land (1922).

Continue reading “‘Unreal City’: Storm Jameson, Modernism and The Waste Land”

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