By Jed Esty
This booklet describes a tremendous 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 global 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 strength from the literary experiments of the Thirties in the course of the upward thrust of cultural experiences 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 experiences pioneers (Raymond Williams and E. P. Thompson) to postwar migrant writers (George Lamming and Doris Lessing). targeting writing that converts the capability power of the contracting British kingdom 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 well known myths concerning the loss of life of English literature. It portrays the survivors of the modernist iteration now not 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 thought, 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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Extra info for A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England
A Shrinking Island: Modernism and National Culture in England by Jed Esty