Kristin Bluemel ’86, a professor of English at Monmouth University, has edited a new essay collection, Intermodernism: Literary Culture in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain (Edinburgh University Press). This volume of original critical essays encourages readers to accept a new term, new critical category, and new literary history for 20th-century British literature.
Its primary subject is the intriguing and typically neglected British writing of the years of the Depression and World War II, including the fiction, memoirs, criticism, and journalism of writers such as Elizabeth Bowen, Storm Jameson, William Empson, George Orwell, J. B. Priestley, Harold Heslop, T. H. White, Rebecca West, John Grierson, Margery Allingham, and Stella Gibbons. The book is divided into four sections—Work, Community, War, and Documents—and concentrates on qualities that distinguish these writers’ literary efforts from those of the modernists or postmodernists, clarifying the network of historical, institutional, and personal relationships that together define intermodernism.
This is a broad-ranging collection, discussing novels, journalism, manifestos, short stories, film, poetry, memoirs, letters, and travel narratives of the interwar, war, and immediately post-World War II years. More than 75 British intermodernists are covered.