This collection of original critical essays challenges readers to accept a new term, new critical category, and new literary history for twentieth-century British literature. It takes as its primary subject the fascinating and typically neglected writing of the years of the Depression and World War II - the fiction, memoirs, criticism, and journalism of writers such as Elizabeth Bowen, Storm Jameson, William Empson, George Orwell, J. B. Priestley, Harold Heslop, T. H. White, Rebecca West, John Grierson, Margery Allingham, and Stella Gibbons. Divided into four sections: Work; Community; War; and Documents, the voluem focuses on qualities that distinguish these writers' literary efforts from those of the modernists or postmodernists, elucidating the web of historical, institutional, and personal relationships that together define intermodernism.
Researching, analyzing, and theorising intermodernism, this book focuses on three kinds of intermodern features in texts that are typically ignored in accounts of modernism or The Auden Generation: cultural features (intermodernists typically represent working-class and working middle-class cultures); political features (intermodernists are politically radical, 'radically eccentric'); and literary features (intermodernists are committed to non-canonical, even 'middlebrow' or 'mass' genres). To encourage future scholarship on intermodernism, the volume concludes with an appendix, 'Who Were the Intermodernists?', and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. Key features * Presents ten original chapters written by active and prominent scholars of mid-century British literary culture * Launches an ambitious, long-term project that marks out a new period and style in twentieth-century literary history * Broad-ranging, treating novels, journalism, manifestos, short stories, film, poetry, memoirs, letters, and travel narratives of the interwar, war, and immediately post-World War II years * Describes more than seventy-five British intermodernists, inviting future research