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The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English$
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Brian McHale and Randall Stevenson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748620111

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620111.001.0001

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1941, London under the Blitz: Culture as Counter-History

1941, London under the Blitz: Culture as Counter-History

Chapter:
(p.98) Chapter 8 1941, London under the Blitz: Culture as Counter-History
Source:
The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English
Author(s):

Tyrus Mille

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620111.003.0009

This chapter studies how British culture served as a form of counter-history, revealing that George Orwell and Herbert Read visualised a naturalised cultural habitus as a safeguard against a threatening history. On the other hand, H.G. Wells envisioned a post-historical and rationally administered culture as a cure to the violent crisis of the historical present. The discussion then examines the works of Orwell, Read, Wells, Robert Graves and Ezra Pound in 1941. This is followed by a study of Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts, her posthumously published novel.

Keywords:   British culture, counter-history, cultural habitus, threatening history, George Orwell, Herbert Read, H.G. Wells, Virginia Woolf

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