It was a poet of an earlier generation, T. Eliot , who produced in his Four Quartets —42; published as a whole, the masterpiece of the war.
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Reflecting upon language, time, and history, he searched, in the three quartets written during the war, for moral and religious significance in the midst of destruction and strove to counter the spirit of nationalism inevitably present in a nation at war. Increased attachment to religion most immediately characterized literature after World War II. This was particularly perceptible in authors who had already established themselves before the war.
Auden turned from Marxist politics to Christian commitment, expressed in poems that attractively combine classical form with vernacular relaxedness. Christian belief suffused the verse plays of T. Eliot and Christopher Fry. While Graham Greene continued the powerful merging of thriller plots with studies of moral and psychological ambiguity that he had developed through the s, his Roman Catholicism loomed especially large in novels such as The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair Less-traditional spiritual solace was found in Eastern mysticism by Aldous Huxley and Christopher Isherwood and by Robert Graves , who maintained an impressive output of taut, graceful lyric poetry behind which lay the creed he expressed in The White Goddess , a matriarchal mythology revering the female principle.
Allegory and symbol set wide resonances quivering, so that short books make large statements.
Her best-known novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie , for example, makes events in a s Edinburgh classroom replicate in miniature the rise of fascism in Europe. The stylized novels of Henry Green , such as Concluding and Nothing , also seem to be precursors of the terse, compressed fiction that Spark and Golding brought to such distinction.
This kind of fiction, it was argued by Iris Murdoch , a philosopher as well as a novelist, ran antiliberal risks in its preference for allegory , pattern, and symbol over the social capaciousness and realistic rendition of character at which the great 19th-century novels excelled. A Severed Head is the most incisive and entertaining of her elaborately artificial works; The Bell best achieves the psychological and emotional complexity she found so valuable in classic 19th-century fiction.
While restricting themselves to socially limited canvases, novelists such as Elizabeth Bowen, Elizabeth Taylor , and Barbara Pym continued the tradition of depicting emotional and psychological nuance that Murdoch felt was dangerously neglected in midth-century novels. In contrast to their wry comedies of sense and sensibility and to the packed parables of Golding and Spark was yet another type of fiction, produced by a group of writers who became known as the Angry Young Men. From authors such as John Braine , John Wain also a notable poet , Alan Sillitoe , Stan Barstow , and David Storey also a significant dramatist came a spate of novels often ruggedly autobiographical in origin and near documentary in approach.
The predominant subject of these books was social mobility , usually from the northern working class to the southern middle class. Satiric watchfulness of social change was also the specialty of Kingsley Amis , whose deriding of the reactionary and pompous in his first novel, Lucky Jim , led to his being labeled an Angry Young Man. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Buy Online, Pick up in Store is currently unavailable, but this item may be available for in-store purchase. Sign in to Purchase Instantly.
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English literature - The literature of World War II (–45) | imenbityro.cf
Related Searches. The investigation of a series of mysterious terrorist bombings leads Special Agents Judy Deavers and It appealed, he insisted without any defensiveness, only to "the cultivated": he reckoned that there were only about 3, such persons, though the basis for this high-handed piece of intuitive sociology is not clear. It was to be essentially a literary review, but "Its scope is wide enough to include almost everything of interest to people of culture with the exception of economics and contemporary politics.
Though it is true that the Criterion did not deal with day-to-day party politics, it nonetheless had a very marked political character. It was explicitly intended to provide a counter to "the usual Whig and semi-Socialist press of London". It was hostile to all forms of liberalism, Whiggism, romanticism and subjectivism; in its severe, aloof way, it upheld what Eliot came to call "classicism".
It is from this standpoint that we find him here dismissing Arnold Toynbee as "a noxious humanitarian" and sneering at John Middleton Murry as "this apostle of suburban free thought". In trying to establish the reputation of the new journal, Eliot had to perform the usual delicate balancing act: he wanted to publish high-quality original work of the kind he admired, but he also needed contributions from established names, which sometimes meant accepting work that was neither high-quality nor original.
The correspondence of any editor might catch him out saying different things to different people, but there are some arrestingly immediate juxtapositions in these letters. When, as the editor of a new journal, he is sedulously courting the year-old George Saintsbury, Eliot hastens to tell him that he is "the most eminent English critic of our time"; two years later, the journal now established, he frankly confides to another correspondent: "Saintsbury, for all his merits, now has little point.
Having already confided this, in turn, to Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound and Virginia Woolf, he then writes to WB Yeats's agent, saying: "For such an important contribution from so distinguished a writer I would make an exception" to his usual rates and pay double. The question of two-facedness surfaces most awkwardly in his tricky friendship with Leonard and Virginia Woolf.
While jockeying to establish himself in literary London, he had been grateful for the Woolfs' patronage: their Hogarth Press published The Waste Land in book form after it had appeared in the first number of the Criterion , and in they were to publish three of his review-essays as a Hogarth pamphlet entitled Homage to John Dryden. In the Woolfs seem to have helped to persuade Maynard Keynes to offer Eliot the position of literary editor on the Liberal weekly the Nation.
The position, though attractive, would not have provided Eliot with the financial security he needed, but it is not clear whether the paper's uncongenial political identity played a part in his eventual refusal Leonard Woolf himself took on the post. At a less public level, Eliot shared some common ground with Leonard as a man who had considerable experience of handling the moods of a mentally unstable wife, but his direct relationship with Virginia was always shot through with distrust and a kind of literary rivalry.
Neither Eliot nor Virginia Woolf gets high honours for consistent candour, and the very full annotations to these letters indicate a little of the discreditable backbiting that went on off-stage. Having cajoled Virginia to publish her soon to be celebrated essay "Character in Fiction" in the Criterion for July , Eliot enthuses to her that the presence of her piece alongside those by Proust and Yeats means "The July number will be the most brilliant in its history". But some months later he praises the next issue to Lady Rothermere by saying: "There is nothing of the costly showiness of Proust and Virginia Woolf neither of which I cared much about myself.
At one point Woolf confides to her diary quoted in the editorial annotations the conviction that "There is something hole-and-cornerish, biting in the back, suspicious, elaborate, uneasy, about him. At the end of this volume, Eliot leaves his job at Lloyd's to join Geoffrey Faber's new publishing firm.
Part of his private understanding with Faber was that the new firm would henceforth publish Eliot's books, beginning with Poems , which included The Waste Land. Eliot continued to write to the Woolfs in affectionate terms while somehow managing not to tell them that the Hogarth Press had just lost one of its star authors. But it must be said that Eliot, by fair means or by sharp professional practice, made a success of the Criterion during those years.
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He was justified in boasting in October "I think that at the end of the third year it will have as brilliant a record of contributors as any magazine could have in the time. The critical essays and, later, the book reviews generally maintained a high, if at times highly ideological, standard. Publication in the Criterion's pages, he informed prospective contributors, ensured "more intelligent attention than a contribution to any other review". Only the circulation remained stubbornly resistant to Eliot's blandishments, sales never exceeding to 1, copies per issue. Beyond documenting his life as an editor, these letters add a little thickening detail to some of the already well-worn themes of Eliot biography and criticism.
There is, for example, his view to be trusted no further than several other ostensibly revealing confessions in these letters that there were only "about 30 good lines in The Waste Land ". It is somewhat more winning to find him acknowledging that his own prose has "a rather rheumatic pomposity", and a knowingness about his early critical perfomances is suggested by his advice to a young would-be review essayist: "You must begin by being or pretending to be an authority on some subject or other.
Good criticism is noticed at once. The cultivated public prefers critical to creative work. Part of his qualification for becoming a director of Faber's new firm was that, in addition to being one of the best-connected writers and editors of his day, he was "a man of business". And, inevitably, we get a few asides about "Jew publishers" when his dealings with his American publishers were particularly vexed. No one could pretend that the writer of these letters emerges as consistently likeable or admirable, but it is hard not to feel sympathy for a man so cornered by personal unhappiness, financial anxiety and professional frustration.
Eliot often affected the identity of the "resident alien"; perhaps he came to feel that that label accurately described his relation to earthly existence as a whole. As a young man, he was not short of reasons to feel ill at ease in the world, and many of those who met him during his early years in London remarked on this characteristic. Alternating between shyness and attitude-striking, he made others feel ill at ease with him, uncertain how far they could trust this now smooth, now angular chameleon.
Disguise, camouflage, adaptation: Eliot was rich in the strategies of self-protection. VS Pritchett later called him "a company of actors within one suit". Several members of the company are on show in these pages; the one constant is the suit, literally as worn to the bank every day, metaphorically in the pinstriped casing of so much of his epistolary prose.