This collection of essays on modernist culture reassesses the convergence of low and high cultures, of socialist and aesthete, late Victorian and young Georgian, the popular and the coterie. Academic literary studies have until recently preferred to treat the "opaque," "difficult" writings of high moderns Conrad, Yeats, Woolf, and Eliot, and the more accessible work of the low moderns Kipling, Shaw, and Wells in separate categories. In contributions by scholars David Bromwich, Roy Foster, Edna Longley, Louis Menand, Edward Mendelson, and others, High and Low Moderns brings these writers into critical proximity. Essays on such topics as the public mourning of Queen Victoria, Florence Farr and the "New Woman," the Edwardian Shaw, Lady Gregory's attraction to Irish felons, and the high artistic uses of low entertainments--cinema, detective fiction, and journalism-- introduce a subtler model of modernism, in which "demotic" and "elite" cultural forms criticize, imitate, and address one another.
High and Low Moderns: British Literature and Culture 1889-1939
December 05, 1996