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    9780521711562 frontmatter 9780521711562 frontmatter Document Transcript

    • Cambridge University Press978-0-521-71156-2 - Modernism and After: English Literature 1910-1939John SmartFrontmatterMore information Contexts in Literature Modernism and After: English Literature 1910–1939 John Smart Series editor: Adrian Barlow© Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org
    • Cambridge University Press978-0-521-71156-2 - Modernism and After: English Literature 1910-1939John SmartFrontmatterMore information CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo, Delhi Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521711562 © Cambridge University Press 2008 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2008 Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library ISBN 978-0-521-71156-2 paperback Editorial management: Gill Stacey Cover illustration: Portrait of T.S. Eliot by John Wyndham Lewis © by kind permission of the Wyndham Lewis Memorial trust (a registered charity). Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party Internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.© Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org
    • Cambridge University Press978-0-521-71156-2 - Modernism and After: English Literature 1910-1939John SmartFrontmatterMore information Contents Introduction 6 1 Approaching modernism 9 What is modernism? 9 Modernism and its audience 10 Edwardian Britain 11 1910: the condition of literature 13 The Edwardian novel: Tono-Bungay 14 The Georgian anthologies 16 Ezra Pound and Imagism 17 Painting: Post-Impressionism and Picasso 19 Music and ballet: English music and the Ballets Russes 20 The influence of Freud and Einstein 22 Responses to the war: from the Georgians to the avant-garde 23 The First World War and its aftermath 26 The Bloomsbury Group and Virginia Woolf 27 D.H. Lawrence 28 T.S. Eliot 30 The 1920s: ‘The Jazz Age’ 32 Contrasting literary styles: Mandarin and Vernacular 34 Towards the 1930s: change and decay? 35 W.H. Auden and the ‘gang’ 37 The 1930s: the ‘low dishonest decade’ 38 Poetry and politics 39 The theatre 41 Documenting the 1930s: film 42 Mass Observation – and observation of the masses 43 The Spanish Civil War 44 The end of modernism? 46 Assignments 47© Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org
    • Cambridge University Press978-0-521-71156-2 - Modernism and After: English Literature 1910-1939John SmartFrontmatterMore information 2 Approaching the texts 49 Imagism 49 Poetry of the 1930s 52 Characteristics of modernist prose 54 Experiments in modernist fiction 58 The 1930s: new directions for prose? 68 Assignments 72 3 Texts and extracts 74 Robert Bridges ‘Nightingales’ 74 H.G. Wells from Tono-Bungay 74 Ford Madox Ford from The Good Soldier 75 E.M. Forster from A Passage to India 77 Virginia Woolf from Modern Fiction 78 from To the Lighthouse 79 Ezra Pound ‘L’Art’, 1910 81 ‘Fan-Piece, for her Imperial Lord’ 81 ‘The Jewel Stairs’ Grievance’ 81 from ‘Hugh Selwyn Mauberley’ 82 from Pound’s advice on writing imagist poetry 83 D.H. Lawrence from The Rainbow 83 ‘Humming-Bird’ 84 ‘Bavarian Gentians’ 85 H.D. ‘Oread’ 86 ‘Sea Rose’ 86 Jean Rhys from ‘Vienne’ 87 Aldous Huxley from Brave New World 88© Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org
    • Cambridge University Press978-0-521-71156-2 - Modernism and After: English Literature 1910-1939John SmartFrontmatterMore information Evelyn Waugh from Vile Bodies 89 George Orwell from The Road to Wigan Pier 90 Christopher Isherwood from Goodbye to Berlin 91 C. Day Lewis ‘Newsreel’ 92 W.H. Auden from The Dog beneath the Skin 93 ‘Gare du Midi’ 94 from ‘In Memory of W.B. Yeats’ 95 from ‘September 1, 1939’ 95 Stephen Spender ‘The Pylons’ 97 ‘An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum’ 98 4 Critical approaches 99 How to approach criticism 99 The canon 99 Modernism today 100 5 How to write about the age of modernism 104 Thinking about contexts 104 Developing your ideas 104 Putting ideas into practice: how to use contexts 105 How to use comparisons 108 How to use criticism: a case study 111 Writing and rewriting: longer essays 113 Assignments 114 6 Resources 116 Chronology 116 Further reading 119 Websites and media resources 121 Glossary 123 Index 125 Acknowledgements 128© Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org
    • Cambridge University Press978-0-521-71156-2 - Modernism and After: English Literature 1910-1939John SmartFrontmatterMore information Introduction All literary terms and periods are hard to define and ‘modernism’ is harder than most. An extra difficulty comes from the term’s relationship with the word ‘modern’. Modernist literature is not ‘modern’ to a reader in the early 21st century: much of it is nearly 100 years old. Unlike many other ‘-isms’ such as Vorticism or Futurism, modernism was not a term of its time, although ‘modern’ and sometimes ‘modernist’ were. It is a word which gained currency in the 1950s to describe the work of a loosely connected group of writers, artists, architects and musicians who flourished in the first part of the 20th century. Paris may have been their centre but, for a brief period from just before the First World War up to 1922, London was just as important. Although it is useful to have an overview of what modernism might be, the word should never become a straitjacket into which we try to fit a writer’s oddity or distinctiveness. But by comparing and contrasting poems and prose of the period we can better understand the varieties that are contained within it. These varieties account for the fact that some critics have begun to use the plural terms ‘modernisms’ and ‘early modernists’. It is hard to know when modernism begins. As a European movement its origins might, for example, be traced back to Flaubert and the French symbolist poets of the 19th century or to Chekhov’s plays and short stories – but space demands a close focus here on English writing at the beginning of the 20th century. The accession to the throne of King George V in 1910 is a convenient starting point as it marks the end of the Edwardian period. It is also the date of the ‘Manet and the Post- Impressionists’ exhibition in London – an exhibition which signalled a dramatic change in the sense of what art could and should be. The title of this book suggests that there was a period of modernism followed by ‘a something else’ that ended in 1939. This would be a simplification in two ways. ‘We do not all inhabit the same time,’ said Ezra Pound. During the period 1910–1939 the majority of writers did not march under the modernist banner. Many of the most popular poets such as Thomas Hardy, A.E. Housman and Edward Thomas were out of step with modernism in their themes and their use of more traditional forms of rhyme and metre. As the theme of this book is modernism, they are here seen as background figures only. This is, of course, no reflection on the intrinsic interest of their work. The same point is equally true of the novel. Virginia Woolf defined her art by contrasting her approach with three more commercial writers: John Galsworthy, Arnold Bennett and H.G. Wells. In this book the focus is on Woolf and the new, not on the more conventional prose writers. 6 MODERNISM AND AFTER© Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org
    • Cambridge University Press978-0-521-71156-2 - Modernism and After: English Literature 1910-1939John SmartFrontmatterMore information Space forbids treating in any detail the extraordinarily rich Irish writing of this period except insofar as it had a direct effect on English writers. The American Ezra Pound made London his home at a crucial period in the development of modernism and hence is included here, as is the American writer H.D. and the New Zealander Katherine Mansfield, who were also key figures in London. Detailed comment on First World War writing has been kept to a minimum as it is already comprehensively covered in another volume in the ‘Cambridge Contexts in Literature’ series, The Great War in British Literature, and the same is true of theatre where it overlaps with Modern British Drama. INTRODUCTION 7© Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org
    • Cambridge University Press978-0-521-71156-2 - Modernism and After: English Literature 1910-1939John SmartFrontmatterMore information How this book is organised Part 1: Approaching modernism In this part there are definitions of modernism and its relationship to the cultural and social background between 1910 and 1939. Part 2: Approaching the texts Here different kinds of texts are compared along with analysis of different genres and styles of writing. Part 3: Texts and extracts Part 3 contains extracts from poetry, prose and drama that are discussed elsewhere in the book. Part 4: Critical approaches In this part there is a brief overview of different kinds of criticism, some advice on how it can be best used and a detailed case study. Part 5: How to write about the age of modernism This part gives guidance on writing about modernism in English Literature between 1910 and 1939. The focus is on detailed examination and how to use textual comparison. There will also be advice about handling the task of writing more extended essays. Part 6: Resources This part contains a chronology relating the texts to their time and context, together with guidance on further reading, web-based and media resources, and a glossary and index. At different points throughout the book, and at the end of Parts 1, 2 and 5, there are tasks and assignments designed to help the reader reflect on ideas discussed in the text. 8 MODERNISM AND AFTER© Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org