Literary Criticism Theory

Jed Esty's A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in PDF

By Jed Esty

This ebook describes an immense 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 worldwide conflict II, but in addition a longer-term reversal of nationwide fortune. the 1st accomplished 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 during the upward push of cultural reports within the 1950s.

Jed Esty explores the consequences 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 reports 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 nation 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 concerning the dying of English literature. It portrays the survivors of the modernist new release now not as aesthetic dinosaurs, yet as members within the transition from empire to welfare nation, from metropolitan artwork to nationwide tradition. blending literary feedback with postcolonial idea, his account of London modernism's end-stages and after-lives offers a clean tackle significant works whereas redrawing the traces among modernism and postmodernism.

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A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England by Jed Esty

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