Waugh and Intermodernism

An academic article entitled “Intermodernism and the Ethics of Lateness in Evelyn Waugh and Harold Acton” and published in English Studies, v. 103, Number 6 (2022) has been posted on the internet. This is written by Allan Killner-Johnson, University of Surrey. Here’s the abstract:

Evelyn Waugh and Harold Acton had a deeply ambivalent relationship to the narrative of modernism, and their attempts to negotiate their position within the literary milieu of their own time clearly registers the tensions inherent in much of late modernist writing. Early modernism and high modernism were concerned with the nature of the ‘firstness’, of innovation and change, but as this article argues, intermodernism is best seen as an ethical mode that saw itself as increasingly removed from the organising attitudes of literary revolution. In their mid- and late-period writing, Acton and Waugh were concerned with structures of age-old history and prestige-notably Catholicism (Waugh) and China (Acton)-that they felt outweighed the innovations of modernism and made the modern aesthetic spirit seem clumsy, if not painfully late.

The full article can be read at this link.


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