New PDF release: Committed styles : Modernism, politics, and left-wing

By Benjamin Kohlmann

Devoted types' deals a brand new realizing of the politicized literature of the Nineteen Thirties and its courting to modernism. It reclaims a relevant physique of literary and important works for modernist stories, delivering in-depth readings of texts via T.S. Eliot and I.A. Richards, in addition to via key left-wing authors together with William Empson, David Gascoyne, Charles Madge, Humphrey Jennings, and Edward Upward. development on Read more...


dedicated types deals a brand new realizing of the literature of the Thirties and its dating to modernism, exploring the tensions among formal experimentation and political imaginative and prescient that lie at Read more...

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Additional resources for Committed styles : Modernism, politics, and left-wing literature in the 1930s

Example text

I had seen birth and death, But had thought they were different; this Birth was Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death. 35–39)76 The passage contemplates the possibility of metaphysical ‘Birth or Death’, as well as of their mundane analogues (spelled with lower-case initials). While the first lines express the believer’s conviction that there ‘was a Birth certainly’ in Bethlehem, the third line hesitates over the non-transcendent ‘birth and death’, and the last verse inconclusively weighs both possibilities (‘like Death, our death’).

Early on in his study, Richards is at pains to point out that reading and writing never take place outside the matrix of belief. ’12 Principles of Literary Criticism subsequently elaborates on the idea, central to Richards’s conjunction of aesthetic and moral valuation, of art’s continuity with life. The third chapter of Richards’s book, 10 I. A. Richards, Science and Poetry (London: Trubner, 1926), p. 64, emphasis in the original.  25– 29; Valentine Cunningham, British Writers of the Thirties (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp.

See Illusion and Reality: A Study of the Sources of Poetry (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1937), p. 29. 23 Christopher Caudwell, Romance and Realism: A Study in English Bourgeois Literature, ed. by Samuel Hynes (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970), p. 129. 26 Committed Styles shared outside the political left by figures as dissimilar as Kathleen Raine, who thought that Richards conceived of poetry as ‘a process beginning and ending in mystery [. e. ’26 Richards’s concept of the ‘pseudo-statement’ consisted of two distinct yet interrelated parts: on the one hand, it curtailed the extra-poetic dimensions of literature by detaching poetic discourse from its historical contexts; on the other, it seized on poetry’s newly gained autonomy to assert its superior, quasi-salvational powers.

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