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Modernism, Labour and Selfhood in British Literature and Culture, 1890–1930
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Details

  • Page extent: 302 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.73 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 820.9/355
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: PR478.M6 S55 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • English literature--20th century--History and criticism
    • Modernism (Literature)--Great Britain
    • Lawrence, D. H.--(David Herbert),--1885-1930--Political and social views
    • Labor movement--Great Britain--History--20th century
    • Working class--Great Britain--History--20th century

Library of Congress Record

Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521834599 | ISBN-10: 0521834597)

Morag Shiach examines the ways in which labour was experienced and represented between 1890 and 1930. There is a strong critical tradition in literary and historical studies that sees the impact of modernity on human labour in terms of intensification and alienation. Shiach, however, explores a series of efforts to articulate the relations between labour and selfhood within modernism. She examines the philosophical languages available for thinking about labour in the period. She then gives an account of the significance of two technologies, the typewriter and the washing machine, central to a cultural and political understanding of labour. Through readings of writings by Sylvia Pankhurst and D. H. Lawrence, Shiach shows how labour underpins the political and textual innovations of the period. She concludes with an analysis of the 'general strike' both as myth and historical event. This study will be of interest to literary and cultural scholars alike.

• Puts key modernist text in context, particularly in relation to labour • Original research into the relations between politics and culture in the period • Sheds light on the centrality of labour for thinkers and writers between 1890 and 1930

Contents

Illustrations; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Philosophies of labour and selfhood; 2. Technologies of labour: washing and typing; 3. Sylvia Pankhurst: labour and representation; 4. D. H. Lawrence: labour, organicism, and the individual; 5. The general strike: labour and the future tense; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

Reviews

'A beautifully written and finely argued book, a work of impressive scholarship and persuasive local insight.' The Times Literary Supplement

'This study will interest scholars across several disciplines … documents the variety and complexity encompassed by its theme, and avoids coercing the material into an overall interpretation.' MLR

'… complex and thoughtful … this is a powerful and important book that deserves careful reading.' Women: A Cultural Review

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