Commonwealth of Letters: British Literary Culture and the Emergence of Postcolonial Aesthetics

Paperback | December 15, 2015

byKalliney, Peter J.

not yet rated|write a review
Commonwealth of Letters examines midcentury literary institutions integral to modernism and postcolonial writing. Several organizations central to interwar modernism, such as the BBC, influential publishers, and university English departments, became important sites in the emergence ofpostcolonial literature after the war. How did some of modernism's leading figures of the 1930s - such as T.S. Eliot, Louis MacNeice, and Stephen Spender - come to admire late colonial and early postcolonial literature in the 1950s? Similarly, why did late colonial and early postcolonial writers -including Chinua Achebe, Kamau Brathwaite, Claude McKay, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o - actively seek alliances with metropolitan intellectuals? Peter Kalliney's original and extensive archival work on modernist cultural institutions demonstrates that this disparate group of intellectuals had strongprofessional incentives to treat one another more as fellow literary professionals, and less as political or cultural antagonists.Surprisingly, metropolitan intellectuals and their late colonial counterparts leaned heavily on modernist theories of aesthetic autonomy to facilitate their collaborative ventures. For white, metropolitan writers, T.S. Eliot's notion of impersonality could help recruit new audiences and conspiratorsfrom colonized regions of the world. For black, colonial writers, aesthetic autonomy could be used to imagine a literary sphere uniquely resistant to the forms of racial prejudice endemic to the colonial system. This strategic collaboration did not last forever, but as Commonwealth of Letters shows,it left a lasting imprint on the ultimate disposition of modernism and the evolution of postcolonial literature.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$32.95

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

Commonwealth of Letters examines midcentury literary institutions integral to modernism and postcolonial writing. Several organizations central to interwar modernism, such as the BBC, influential publishers, and university English departments, became important sites in the emergence ofpostcolonial literature after the war. How did some...

Peter J. Kalliney is William J. Tuggle Chair in English at the University of Kentucky.

other books by Kalliney, Peter J.

Modernism in a Global Context
Modernism in a Global Context

Kobo ebook|Dec 17 2015

$30.17

Cities of Affluence and Anger: A Literary Geography of Modern Englishness
Cities of Affluence and Anger: A Literary Geography of ...

Kobo ebook|Oct 29 2015

$25.29 online$32.81list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:December 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190455926

ISBN - 13:9780190455927

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Commonwealth of Letters: British Literary Culture and the Emergence of Postcolonial Aesthetics

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments and Permissions1. Modernist Networks and Late Colonial Intellectual2. Race and Modernist Anthologies: Nancy Cunard, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Ezra Pound3. For Continuity: FR Leavis, Kamau Brathwaite, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o4. Metropolitan Modernism and its West Indian Interlocutors5. Developing Fictions: Amos Tutuola at Faber and Faber6. Metropolitan Publisher as Postcolonial Clearinghouse: The African Writers Series7. Jean Rhys: Left Bank Modernist as Postcolonial IntellectualConclusionBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Kalliney's argument is extensive, meticulously researched, and compellingly revisionist... Kalliney provides a startling and thorough reimagining of the complex lines of aesthetic, philosophic, and institutional affiliation between metropolitan and colonial authors in the period 1930-70." --Novel