By Anthea Trodd
A survey of the differences of Edwardian writing and the way they healthy into literary and cultural switch. This booklet covers writers akin to Conrad, Forster, Wells, Bennett, Shaw, Kipling, Tressell, Hardy, Yeats and Woolf. Modernists resembling Lawrence and Mansfield also are incorporated. the writer combines literary feedback of writing within the Edwardian interval with cultural exams (for instance, she examines imperialism and patriarchy), and units her paintings in an old context.
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Extra info for A reader's guide to Edwardian literature
In 1895 James summarised this in a short story, 'The Next Time', in which a best-selling female novelist attempts to produce something of aesthetic value that will be beyond her mass readership, while her brother-in-law, a genius recognised by a small, discriminating public, tries to prostitute himself to a mass audience. She, despite her feminine incapacity for form, searches for his 'secret', and he for hers, though, significantly, it is his wife whom he sends researching for models among the romantic fiction in the libraries, 'foraging further afield for him than he could conveniently go'.
These reactions were part of the transition to modernism. Chapter 5 discusses women's reactions against tradition, the attempts of male writers to understand these reactions, and the entry of women writers into the debate late in the period. Chapter 6 looks at the poetry of the period, at the ideals of Page 14 Impressionism, and at poets' share in the Edwardian search for an identifiable audience. Chapter 7 examines contemporary debates about the future of the novel, centering on the JamesWells debate where James argued for the central role of formal experiment in the novel, and Wells for the novel as a popular medium for discussion of political issues, and of the psychological problems raised by social change.
Which, consistently and consummately unable to give the smallest account of itself, naturally renders no grain of help to enquiry'33 is echoed throughout the period. In some works, for instance Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Ford's The Good Soldier, the search for an audience becomes part of the narrative process. Even the most innovative writers in fiction had not abandoned the hope of a popular audience. James satirised his own search in 'The Next Time'. Conrad was the type of the serious experimental writer read by a small, discriminating audience, but he worked persistently in popular forms.
A reader's guide to Edwardian literature by Anthea Trodd