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To Hell with Culture
Anarchism and Twentieth-century British Literature
'To Hell with Culture': Anarchism in Twentieth-Century British Literature explores the ways in which anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism made an impact in British twentieth-century literature. This radical and under-considered topic is up for review now that the traditional paradigms of leftist and radical thought are under re-examination, and the Marxist tradition is being seen as something of an imposition on a situation which was always actually more various and more complex than usual descriptions have admitted. This book highlights that in the early twentieth century there were several currents of anarchist thought. Whether highly radical (as in Grassic Gibbon) or effectively conservative (as in Chesterton), a good deal of the thinking and writing that has been classed as Marxist was in fact much more fully informed by anarchist thought than has been realised. Anarchist thinking was kept alive through various authors such as Gibbon, Read, Huxley, Sillitoe and Comfort, and has in significant ways flowered again in the late twentieth century in authors like Kelman and Welsh.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'This is a book about political fiction but without a gothic pinnacle in sight, which is a welcome relief ... pragmatic, universalist quality ... ' Planet "...fills a real gap and is a deeply engaging work that offers a lucid explanation of the impact of the anarchist movement on British literature of the past century." Carolyn Perry, Westminster College, Missouri "Readers interested in anarchist fiction and thought, as well as anybody curious about the relationship between politics and literature, will find in To Hell with Culture new insights and critical evaluations alike." Gerd Bayer (Erlangen), Journal for the Study of British Cultures 12.2 "Its contents provide a range of useful insights into the possibly undervalued presence of anarchist thought in literature." TLS