Author(s): Francis Mulhern
Literary theory | No Category
The leading critic Francis Mulhern uncovers a hidden history in the English novel and demonstrates its intimate, formative association with the course of the British labour movement, from its rise in the early twentieth century to the years of decline from the 1980s onwards. In this striking reconstruction, culture emerges as the plane of social conflict, above all that of classes; the narrative evaluations of culture's ends--the aspirations and destinies of those whose lives are the matter of its fictions--grow steadily darker as time passes. Readings of classic and contemporary novelists from Hardy and Forster to Amis, Kureishi and Smith, among others, illuminate the forms and narrative logics of the genre he terms the 'condition of culture novel' and places it in international context.