Search results for: mysticism-and-the-mid-century-novel

Mysticism and the Mid Century Novel

Author : J. Clements
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This book argues that many of the mid-twentieth century's significant novelists were united by a desire to return the increasingly interior novel to ethical engagement. They did not seek morality in society, politics or the individual will, but sought to unveil a transcendent Good by using techniques drawn from the canon of mystical literature

The Influence of Mysticism on 20th Century British and American Literature

Author : David Garrett Izzo
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This volume discusses the relationships between the philosophy of Mysticism, which traces its lineage back into prehistory, with that of the world of more traditional philosophy and literature. The author argues for the centrality of mysticism’s role in the philosophical and artistic development of western culture. The connections between these worlds are underscored as the author examines the works of Heraclitus, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Iris Murdoch, Yeats, Æ (George Russell), T.S. Eliot, Joyce, Woolf, Auden, Huxley, Lessing, Gabriel García Márquez, and Tony Kushner, among others.

Religion in the English Novel

Author : Michael Giffin
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Romanticism marked a dramatic turning point in philosophy and aesthetics. The shift from Classicism to Romanticism to Modernism and its Posts is paralleled in the shift from Kant to Hegel to Nietzsche to Derrida. The central notions of the Enlightenment: nature, progress, rationalism, and rejection of the irrational are opposed by the central notions of the Counter-Enlightenment: relativism, vitalism, anti-rationalism, and sense of the organic. Then there is the idea of freedom at the heart of the West’s religious and secular vocabularies. The authors discussed in this study ask their readers to consider the question of freedom and constraints upon it. For some, freedom is found in Christianity; for others, Christianity is freedom’s enemy.

A Grain of Faith

Author : Allan Hepburn
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During and after the Second World War, there was a concerted thinking about religion in Britain. Not only were leading international thinkers of the day theologians--Ronald Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Jacques Maritain--but leading writers contributed to discussions about religion. Graham Greene, Muriel Spark, and Barbara Pym incorporated miracles, evil, and church-going into their novels, while Louis MacNeice, T. S. Eliot, and C. S. Lewis gave radio broadcasts about the role of Christianity in contemporary society. Certainly the war revived interest in aspects of Christian life. Salvation and redemption were on many people's minds. The Ministry of Information used images of bombed churches to stoke patriotic fervour, and King George VI led a series of Days of National Prayer that coincided with crucial events in the Allied campaign. After the war and throughout the 1950s, approximately 1.4 million Britons converted to Roman Catholicism as a way of expressing their spiritual ambitions and solidarity with humanity on a world-wide scale. Religion provided one way for writers to answer the question, 'what is man?' It also afforded ways to think about social obligation and ethical engagement. Moreover, the mid-century turn to religion offered ways to articulate statehood, not from the perspective of nationhood and politics, but from the perspective of moral action and social improvement. Instead of being a retreat into seclusion and solitude, the mid-century turn to religion is a call to responsibility.

The Post War Experimental Novel

Author : Andrew Hodgson
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Delving into how the traumatic experience of the Second World War formed – or perhaps malformed – the post-war experimental novel, this book explores how the symbolic violence of post-war normalization warped societies' perception of reality. Andrew Hodgson explores how the novel was used by authors to attempt to communicate in such a climate, building a memorial space that has been omitted from literatures and societies of the post-war period. Hodgson investigates this space as it is portrayed in experimental modern British and French fiction, considering themes of amnesia, myopia, delusion and dementia. Such themes are constantly referred back to and posit in narrative a motive for the very broken forms these books often take – books in boxes; of spare pages to be shuffled at the reader's will; with holes in pages; missing whole sections of the alphabet; or books written and then entirely scrubbed out in smudged black ink. Covering the works of B. S. Johnson, Ann Quin, Georges Perec, Roland Topor, Raymond Queneau and others, Andrew Hodgson shows that there is method to the madness of experimental fiction and legitimizes the form as a prominent presence within a wider literary and historical movement in European and American avant-garde literatures.

British Experimental Women s Fiction 1945 1975

Author : Andrew Radford
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This book scrutinizes a range of relatively overlooked post-WWII British women writers who sought to demonstrate that narrative prose fiction offered rich possibilities for aesthetic innovation. What unites all the primary authors in this volume is a commitment to challenging the tenets of British mimetic realism as a literary and historical phenomenon. This collection reassesses how British female novelists operated in relation to transnational vanguard networking clusters, debates and tendencies, both political and artistic. The chapters collected in this volume enquire, for example, whether there is something fundamentally different (or politically dissident) about female experimental procedures and perspectives. This book also investigates the processes of canon formation, asking why, in one way or another, these authors have been sidelined or misconstrued by recent scholarship. Ultimately, it seeks to refine a new research archive on mid-century British fiction by female novelists at least as diverse as recent and longer established work in the domain of modernist studies. Andrew Radford is Senior Lecturer in modernist and contemporary Anglo-American Literature at the University of Glasgow, UK. He has published The Occult Imagination in Britain 1875-1947 (2018) and has co-edited two previous collections of essays: Franco-British Cultural Exchanges, 1880-1940: Channel Packets (2012), and Modernist Women Writers and Spirituality: A Piercing Darkness (2017). Hannah Van Hove is a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders at the Free University in Brussels, Belgium, where she is conducting a research project on British post-war experimental women's writing. She completed her PhD on the fiction of Anna Kavan, Alexander Trocchi and Ann Quin at the University of Glasgow, UK, in 2017. She is Chair of the Anna Kavan Society and sits on the editorial board of the Journal for Literary and Intermedial Crossings.

Midcentury Suspension

Author : Claire Seiler
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How did literary artists confront the middle of a century already defined by two global wars and newly faced with a nuclear future? Midcentury Suspension argues that a sense of suspension—a feeling of being between beginnings and endings, recent horrors and opaque horizons—shaped transatlantic literary forms and cultural expression in this singular moment. Rooted in extensive archival research in literary, print, and public cultures of the Anglophone North Atlantic, Claire Seiler’s account of midcentury suspension ranges across key works of the late 1940s and early 1950s by authors such as W. H. Auden, Samuel Beckett, Elizabeth Bishop, Elizabeth Bowen, Ralph Ellison, and Frank O’Hara. Seiler reveals how these writers cultivated modes of suspension that spoke to the felt texture of life at midcentury. Running counter to the tendency to frame midcentury literature in the terms of modernism or of our contemporary, Midcentury Suspension reorients twentieth-century literary study around the epoch’s fraught middle.

Patrick White Centenary

Author : Cynthia vanden Driesen
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This volume marks the birth centenary of a giant amongst contemporary writers: the Australian Nobel prize-winning novelist, Patrick White (1912–1990). It proffers an invaluable insight into the current state of White studies through commentaries drawn from an international galaxy of eminent critics, as well as from newer talents. The book proves that interest in White’s work continues to grow and diversify. Every essay offers a new insight: some are re-evaluations by seasoned critics who revise earlier positions significantly; others admit new light onto what has seemed like well-trodden terrain or focus on works perhaps undervalued in the past—his poetry, an early short story or novel—which are now subjected to fresh attention. His posthumous work has also won attention from prominent critics. New comparisons with other international writers have been drawn in terms of subject matter, themes and philosophy. The expansion of critical attention into fields like photography and film opens new possibilities for enhancing further appreciation of his work. White’s interest in public issues such as the treatment of Australia’s Indigenous peoples, human rights and Australian nationalism is refracted through the inclusion of relevant commentaries from notable contributors. For the first time in Australian literary history, Indigenous scholars have participated in a celebration of the work of a white Australian writer. All of this highlights a new direction in White studies—the appreciation of his stature as a public intellectual. The book demonstrates that White’s legacy has limitless possibilities for further growth.

The 1960s

Author : Philip Tew
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How did social, cultural and political events in Britain during and leading up to the 1960s shape modern British fiction? The 1960s were the "swinging decade†?: a newly energised youth culture went hand-in-hand with new technologies, expanding educational opportunities, new social attitudes and profound political differences between the generations. This volume explores the ways in which these apparently seismic changes were reflected in British fiction of the decade. Chapters cover feminist writing that fused the personal and the political, gay, lesbian and immigrant voices and the work of visionary experimental and science fiction writers. A major critical re-evaluation of the decade, this volume covers such writers as J.G. Ballard, Anthony Burgess, A.S. Byatt, Angela Carter, John Fowles, Christopher Isherwood, Doris Lessing, Michael Moorcock and V.S. Naipaul.

Patrick White and God

Author : Michael Giffin
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The novels of Australia’s Nobel Laureate Patrick White (1912–1990) are a persistent commentary on Nietzsche’s proclamation of God’s death. As White knew the proclamation was not about God’s existence, but about classical views of God, it presented him with the impossible task of using language to describe what language cannot describe. This has always been one of the more misunderstood aspects of his literary vision. Because the announcement is often interpreted in antithetical ways, atheistic, theistic, secular, religious, humanistic and fatalistic, critics should gain a better understanding of what White was trying to achieve by comparing him with his post-war contemporaries from England, Scotland, and Canada: Iris Murdoch, William Golding, Muriel Spark and Robertson Davies. After, and because of, the war, these authors all commented on the consequences of God’s death. Along with White, they worked with a shared pattern of tropes to explore the light and dark aspects of western consciousness and the civilization it has produced. Where did the pattern come from? Was it metaphysical or metapsychological? These questions are complex as the pattern came from many sources, simultaneously and synergistically, but this book tackles these questions by describing that pattern.