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This essay explores modernism's aesthetic and political implications through examining the works of Humphrey Jennings. The essay takes as a starting point the tension inherent to the democratic aesthetic of Mass Observation between the individual observers and the editors who write up. This...
Scholarship on interwar understandings of ‘collective cognition’ – experiences of intellectual union with others – tends to focus on its capacity to threaten individuality. I counter this trend by investigating prose works by H.D., Olive Moore, Rebecca West, and H.G. Wells that champion...
This paper explores the intersection of jazz culture and popular discourse on nervous disorders in Britain in the 1920s through Noël Coward's plays and revues. In the wake of the First World War, a popular view emerged that the nation was suffering from a form of collective shell-shock – that...
Waugh's last comic novel The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (1957) takes ‘exterior modernism’ to a new height, no longer avoiding interiority – as in his interwar fiction – but exteriorising the interior through dissociation. ‘The Box’, to which the writer-protagonist attributes the source of the...
The years during and after the Great War saw an explosion in arts organisations attempting ‘to bring the Arts into everyday life’.1 This essay argues that arts organisations should be seen alongside institutions like bookshops, magazines and galleries as key mediating institutions between...
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