By Jed Esty
This ebook describes an incredible literary tradition stuck within the act of turning into minor. In 1939, Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary, ''Civilisation has shrunk.'' Her phrases captured not just the onset of global struggle II, but in addition a longer-term reversal of nationwide fortune. the 1st entire account of modernism and imperialism in England, A Shrinking Island tracks the joint eclipse of modernist aesthetics and British energy from the literary experiments of the Thirties throughout the upward thrust of cultural reports within the 1950s.
Jed Esty explores the results of declining empire on modernist form--and at the very that means of Englishness. He levels from canonical figures (T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf) to influential midcentury intellectuals (J. M. Keynes and J.R.R. Tolkien), from cultural experiences pioneers (Raymond Williams and E. P. Thompson) to postwar migrant writers (George Lamming and Doris Lessing). concentrating on writing that converts the aptitude strength of the contracting British country into the language of insular integrity, he argues that an anthropological ethos of cultural holism got here domestic to roost in late-imperial England. Esty's interpretation demanding situations renowned myths in regards to the dying of English literature. It portrays the survivors of the modernist iteration no longer as aesthetic dinosaurs, yet as members within the transition from empire to welfare kingdom, from metropolitan paintings to nationwide tradition. blending literary feedback with postcolonial conception, his account of London modernism's end-stages and after-lives offers a clean tackle significant works whereas redrawing the strains among modernism and postmodernism.