Monday, February 15, 2016

Life in the prose factory …

 Inside English literary culture | TLS. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
In Taylor’s hands, the lined-up literati form a narrative arc from Georgianism via Modernism and its detractors to the political 1930s (whose critical publications are memorably described as yielding the sense of having “inadvertently strayed into the pages of an exceptionally sophisticated Marxist school magazine”) to a post-Second World War critical milieu which is – this time in Karl Miller’s words – “as judicial, as fault-findingly ambitious and as youthfully and generationally vengeful as any that has ever been”. The “New Men” of the 1950s give way in the 60s and 70s to a “new breed of upwardly mobile critics”, acutely characterized by Taylor as “both exacting and unimpressed, Olympian and street-sharp”. The 1980s and 90s see a “literary renaissance” involving “a new wave of English and Commonwealth writers”. 

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