Archive for February 8th, 2011

While tackling Intermodernism and the works of Virginia Woolf during graduate school, one of the questions I pondered often was the existence of a distinctive political art in 1930s Great Britain and the role of class and gender privilege throughout.

 Two forms of narrative art seem to emerge from the time period.  The first can be identified as “the propaganda of privilege.”  Middle to upper class writers like F. R. Leavis and George Orwell offer insight into the lives of the British from a position of gender and class status. It is true that both Orwell and Leavis sincerely want to improve the lives of their fellow citizens.  What becomes problematic for both writers is that same common person’s own voice being denied, translated via a privileged writer, or subjugated to a small whisper. 

The other style of narrative art which comes out of 1930s Great Britain is what I have referred to as “the Intermodernist Other.”  A careful examination of the Intermodernist period allowed a refreshing amount of writers from outside the privileged, elitist, circles that Leavis and Orwell come from to be brought into the foreground.  Writers like Virginia Woolf, and others like Storm Jameson and Mulk Raj Anand, for example, are writing from an underprivileged status due to ethnicity or gender.  These writers offer keen insight into the lives of the underprivileged, such as the women of Great Britain in the war against fascism for Woolf to make their case. (more…)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: