Publisher description for George Orwell and the radical eccentrics : intermodernism in literary London / Kristin Bluemel.


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George Orwell and the Radical Eccentrics celebrates the lives, literature, and politics of a group of four "radical eccentrics"--the Tory anarchist poet Stevie Smith, the Marxist Indian nationalist Mulk Raj Anand, and the beautiful socialist bohemian Inez Holden--who formed a friendly circle around the famously radical and eccentric George Orwell. Demonstrating that Smith, Anand, and Holden matter for literary history just as they mattered for Orwell, this book gives name and shape to a neglected movement within interwar and wartime English writing. It focuses on the lives and texts of Smith, Anand, and Holden in order to argue that these three writers throw into question limiting assumptions about art and politics--about standard relations between literary form and sex, gender, race, class, and empire--in ways that their group's most influential radical, Orwell, cannot. Embarking upon a kind of biographical-political-cultural-literary criticism, this book brings the radical eccentrics' vital, potentially transformative conversation to the attention of scholars of English literature for the first time, suggesting fascinating new approaches to the study of literary London during the thirties and forties.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: English literature England London History and criticism, Orwell, George, 1903-1950 Criticism and interpretation, English literature 20th century History and criticism, Smith, Stevie, 1902-1971 Criticism and interpretation, Anand, Mulk Raj, 1905- Criticism and interpretation, Authors, English Homes and haunts England London, Holden, Inez, 1906- Criticism and interpretation, London (England) Intellectual life 20th century, Eccentrics and eccentricities England London, Modernism (Literature) England London, Radicalism in literature