1st Edition

Literature and Culture in Modern Britain: Volume Three 1956 - 1999

By Clive Bloom, Gary Day Copyright 2000
    302 Pages
    by Routledge

    302 Pages
    by Routledge

    British culture has changed almost beyond recognition since 1956. Angry young men have been displaced by Yuppies, Elvis by the Spice Girls, and meat and two veg by continental cuisine. What is more, as the death of Diana, Princess of Wales showed, the British are now more famous for a trembling lower lip than a stiff upper one.

    This volume, the last in the series, examines the transformations in literature and culture over the last forty years. An introductory essay provides a context for the following chapters by arguing that although there have been significant changes in British life, there are also profound continuities. It also discusses the rise of 'theory' and its impact on the humanities. Each essay in the volume concentrates on a facet of British culture over the last half century from painting to poetry, from the seriousness of the novel to the postmodern ironies of the computing age.

    What we get from this selection is not only an informed history of the relations between literature and culture but also a lively sense of cultural change, not least of which is the new found relationship between literature and other arts which ushers us into the new millennium.

    Acknowledgements Series Preface List of Contributors Chronology Introduction Gary Day Econornic and social policy Culture Conclusion 1. British Poetry 1956-99 Jessíca Maynard The poetics of cliché Chance encounters: Larkin, Tornlinson Metamorphoses: Fisher, Clark Autobiographies: Betjeman, Bunting, Prynne Two varieties of irony 2. Novel Voices Steven Eamshaw Rogue males Lone voices From the rniddle-brow to the high forehead: women-centred fiction The dark gods Empire Experimental literature Genre fiction The postmodem 'There's no such thing as society .. .' Martin Arnis Voice projections Líterature and Culture in Modern Britain: 1956-99 3. Popular Fiction Michael Hayes Market stall to global market Fictions galo re Consuming passions Popular fiction: The Legacy 4. Lifting the Lid: Theatre 1956-99 Michael Woolf Prologue What is 'theatre'? Beyond censorship Lost Edens: politics and nostalgia A humanist theatre The music hall Joe Orton and the outrage of Mrs Edna Welthorpe The presence of Harold Pinter Ayckboum: a singular exception Conclusion: theatre and the segmented society 5. British Newspapers Nicho/as Rance 'A dreadful, long-running detective story': reporting the case of the Y orkshire Ripper Conclusion 6. British Cinema: A Struggle for Identity Lez Cooke 143 The British 'new wave' The social problem film Harnmer horror: the retum of the repressed Carry On and the 'camivalesque' The Empire strikes back? 'Swinging London' The 1970s: mainstream decline and the rise of independent cinema British cinema and Thatcherism The British film renaissance of the 1990s 7. Television Lez Cooke The impact of ITV on the BBC The 'Golden Age' of British television British television in the 1970s: a mirror to society? The 1980s: Channel 4, competition and deregulation British television in the 1990s 8. British Art David Masters The avant-garde moves home: Paris to New York 'The situation in London now' Abstraction - a new realism? 206 ...and the situation in St Ives 208 IG, TIT and pop 209 Later pop 210 Challenging modernism: artists with attitude 212 When concept replaced the unique art object 215 A crisis of modernity? The emergence of postmodernism and anti-modernism 217 'Nostalgia for the unattainable' 218 Some went mad o o o some ran away 219 9. Popular Music since the 1950s Andrew Blake 224 Popular music before pop 224 Aspects of amateurism: folk roots and r 'n' b 226 Professionalism and pop 227 The 1960s and after 228 The ambivalence of broadcasting 230 y outh and music 231 The urban soundscape 233 Let's mix again 235 10. Technology 1956-99 John Moms 239 What is technology and where is it taking us? 239 The information explosion 242 Genetic engineering 246 Outcomes of the high techo process 252 Final thoughts 255 11. Epilogue and Overture Clive Bloom The role of the university Criticism at the end of the century N ew and future approaches British culture at the Millennium Index


    Clive Bloom is a reader in English and American Studies at Middlesex University. He is the author and editor of many books on popular literature and culture, recipient of literary awards from the Horror Writers Association and the International Horror Guild, and a nominee for the British Library Association.

    Gary Day is a principal lecturer and subject leader of English at De Montfort University. He is the author of Re-reading Leavis- 'Culture' and Literary Criticism and of a forthcoming book, Class. He is also the editor of a number of books on literature and culture.