To Have or Have Not: Essays on Commerce and Capital in Modernist Theatre

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Other writers, including Thomas Hardy and Rudyard Kipling , who had established their reputations during the previous century, and Hilaire Belloc , G.

Chesterton , and Edward Thomas , who established their reputations in the first decade of the new century, were less confident about the future and sought to revive the traditional forms—the ballad , the narrative poem, the satire , the fantasy , the topographical poem, and the essay—that in their view preserved traditional sentiments and perceptions.

The revival of traditional forms in the late 19th and early 20th century was not a unique event.

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There were many such revivals during the 20th century, and the traditional poetry of A. Housman whose book A Shropshire Lad , originally published in , enjoyed huge popular success during World War I , Walter de la Mare , John Masefield , Robert Graves , and Edmund Blunden represents an important and often neglected strand of English literature in the first half of the century.

The most significant writing of the period, traditionalist or modern, was inspired by neither hope nor apprehension but by bleaker feelings that the new century would witness the collapse of a whole civilization. The new century had begun with Great Britain involved in the South African War the Boer War; — , and it seemed to some that the British Empire was as doomed to destruction, both from within and from without, as had been the Roman Empire.

In his poems on the South African War, Hardy whose achievement as a poet in the 20th century rivaled his achievement as a novelist in the 19th questioned simply and sardonically the human cost of empire building and established a tone and style that many British poets were to use in the course of the century, while Kipling, who had done much to engender pride in empire, began to speak in his verse and short stories of the burden of empire and the tribulations it would bring. No one captured the sense of an imperial civilization in decline more fully or subtly than the expatriate American novelist Henry James.

In The Portrait of a Lady , he had briefly anatomized the fatal loss of energy of the English ruling class and, in The Princess Casamassima , had described more directly the various instabilities that threatened its paternalistic rule. He did so with regret: the patrician American admired in the English upper class its sense of moral obligation to the community. By the turn of the century, however, he had noted a disturbing change.


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In The Spoils of Poynton and What Maisie Knew , members of the upper class no longer seem troubled by the means adopted to achieve their morally dubious ends. Great Britain had become indistinguishable from the other nations of the Old World, in which an ugly rapacity had never been far from the surface. His fiction still presented characters within an identifiable social world, but he found his characters and their world increasingly elusive and enigmatic and his own grasp upon them, as he made clear in The Sacred Fount , the questionable consequence of artistic will.

Man was a solitary, romantic creature of will who at any cost imposed his meaning upon the world because he could not endure a world that did not reflect his central place within it.

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He did so as a philosophical novelist whose concern with the mocking limits of human knowledge affected not only the content of his fiction but also its very structure. His writing itself is marked by gaps in the narrative, by narrators who do not fully grasp the significance of the events they are retelling, and by characters who are unable to make themselves understood.

James and Conrad used many of the conventions of 19th-century realism but transformed them to express what are considered to be peculiarly 20th-century preoccupations and anxieties. English literature. Article Media.

From Canada to Granada - Zalaikha's Story

Info Print Print. Even here, racial experience takes Broadway itself. A more fitting subtitle for this wide- dramatic representations of US prison politics Jun- ranging volume on dramatic literature since the tunen.

Eileen Curley exposes the ideological work- to the category of modernism—especially when it ings of amateur plays that dealt with the financial concerns theatre. Related Papers. Palgrave Theatre and Performance Studies Catalogue By Jen McCall.

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