The Movement Reconsidered: Essays on Larkin, Amis, Gunn, Davie and Their Contemporaries

Paperback | April 15, 2011

EditorZachary Leader

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The Movement was the preeminent poetical grouping of post-war Britain. 'We shall have stamped our taste on the age between us in the end', boasted its most important poet, Philip Larkin, of his and Kingsley Amis's influence. That Larkin's boast proved well-founded even those who deploredMovement taste have agreed. According to Randall Stevenson, author of volume 12 of the Oxford English Literary History, English literature 'was never more static than under the influence of the Movement. If the later twentieth century proved a difficult period for poetry, it was in large measurebecause it took so long to realise this, and move on.' Moving on, though, was just what the Movement writers - Larkin, Amis, Thom Gunn, Donald Davie, Robert Conquest, John Wain, D.J. Enright, Elizabeth Jennings, and John Holloway - thought they were doing, even when deploring innovation and experiment. Was their influence, as detractors claim,stultifying, a lament for 'England gone'? What, moreover, of other charges: that Movement writing is dry, academic, insular? These accusations are as extreme as the anti-modernist accusations that sparked them, in particular those of Amis, Larkin, Conquest, and Davie.The Movement Reconsidered, a collection of original essays by distinguished poets, critics, and scholars from Britain and America, sets out to show not only that relations between Movement and other post-war British writers were more complex and nuanced than is usually suggested, but that the rolethese relations played in shaping the current literary scene is important and complicated. Other topics it examines include the origins of the grouping; the role of mediating figures such as Auden, Empson, and Orwell; the part the writers themselves played in promoting the grouping; the interlockingnetwork of academics, journalists, and editors who aided them; and analogous developments in other fields, notably philosophy, politics, and language. The book's ultimate aim is to encourage readers to come to Movement writing with fresh eyes and to gain a fairer sense of its range and power.

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The Movement was the preeminent poetical grouping of post-war Britain. 'We shall have stamped our taste on the age between us in the end', boasted its most important poet, Philip Larkin, of his and Kingsley Amis's influence. That Larkin's boast proved well-founded even those who deploredMovement taste have agreed. According to Randall ...

Zachary Leader is Professor of English Literature at Roehampton University. He has also taught at Cambridge, Harvard, Caltech, Universite Rennes 2, Haute Bretagne, and the University of Chicago. He is a scholar of the English Romantic Period as well as of modern British and American writing. Among his books are studies of William Blak...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pagesPublished:April 15, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199601844

ISBN - 13:9780199601844

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Table of Contents

Zachary Leader: Introduction1. Blake Morrison: 'Still Going On, All of It': The Movement in the 1950s and the Movement Today2. Nicholas Jenkins: The 'Truth of Skies': Auden, Larkin and the English Question3. Craig Raine: Counter-intuitive Larkin4. Terry Castle: The Lesbianism of Philip Larkin5. James Fenton: Kingsley Amis: Against Fakery6. Colin McGinn: Philosophy and Literature in the 1950s: The Rise of the 'Ordinary Bloke'7. Deborah Cameron: 'The Virtues of Good Prose': Verbal Hygiene and the Movement8. Deborah Bowman: 'An Instrument of Articulation': Empson and the Movement9. Karl Miller: Boys of the Move10. Alan Jenkins: 'I Thought I Was So Tough': Thom Gunn's Postures for Combat11. Clive Wilmer: In and Out of the Movement: Donald Davie and Thom Gunn12. William H. Pritchard: Donald Davie, The Movement, and Modernism13. Anthony Thwaite: How It Seemed Then14. Eric Homberger: New Lines in 195615. Michael O'Neill: 'Fond of What He's Crapping On': Movement Poetry and Romanticism16. Rachel Buxton: Elizabeth Jennings and Rome17. Robert Conquest: New Lines, Movements, and Modernisms

Editorial Reviews

"The most useful critical guide to the Movement that has appeared in recent years..." --Alan Brownjohn, Literary Review 01/05/2009