This is fascinating stuff. Thanks. I've printed out the other pieces you
sent also and want to read through them.

>>> David Boyd 11/24/12 7:50 AM >>>
Thanks for the links, CR - most interesting indeed, but a preliminary
whizz through the content of the MacKay book seems to paint a rather
different picture to that which I'd imagined. For example, there seems
to be no mention of the St. Anne's Society, based at St Annes Church in
Soho, that linked eg Eliot; Dorothy L. Sayers; Charles Williams; Bro.
George Every with the clergy of that Church. Nor does there seem to be
any acknowledgement of the influence of the aforementioned bunch upon
Eliot, plus that of eg, Michael Roberts and Anne Ridler and E Martin
Browne. For example, Eliot was godfather to one of Roberts' sons (Helen
Sutherland was his other godparent).

This is still, it seems, very uncharted academic territory. Grevel
Lindop, former Prof. of English at Manchester UK Uni is presently
researching a biography of Charles Williams (who died in 1946 aged only
58), and I'll certainly notify him of that link to the full MacKay book.

Attached is an account from a UK poet who lived through it all !



On 24 November 2012 02:00, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


By Marina MacKay 

Cambridge University Press, 2007


The Second World War marked the beginning of the end of literary
modernism in Britain. However, this late period of modernism and its
response to the War have not yet received the scholarly attention they
deserve. In the first full-length study of modernism and the Second World
War, Marina MacKay offers historical readings of Virginia Woolf, Rebecca
West, T. S. Eliot, Henry Green and Evelyn Waugh set against the dramatic
background of national struggle and transformation. In recovering how
these major authors engaged with other texts of their time – political
discourses, mass and middlebrow culture – this study reveals how the
Second World War brought to the surface the underlying politics of
modernism’s aesthetic practices. Through close analyses of the revisions
made to modernist thinking after 1939, MacKay establishes the
significance of this persistently neglected phase of modern literature
as a watershed moment in twentieth-century literary history. 

Marina MacKay is Assistant Professor of English at Washington University
in St. Louis.



Introduction: Modernism beyond the Blitz 1

1 Virginia Woolf and the pastoral patria 22

2 Rebecca West’s anti-Bloomsbury group 44

3 The situational politics of Four Quartets 71

4 The neutrality of Henry Green 91

5 Evelyn Waugh and the ends of minority culture 


an excerpt from 'Introduction: Modernism beyond the Blitz' 

The narrator of Rebecca West’s shellshock novel The Return of the
Soldier (1918) even states outright the link between textual crisis and
the war in progress when she describes her soldier’s insanity as ‘a
triumph over the limitations of language which prevent the mass of men
from making explicit statements about their spiritual relationships’.
The soldier of the novel’s title has returned from the Front having
forgotten his entire adult life, and the political implications of his
‘triumph over the limitations of language’ could not be starker when
his madness represents his wholesale rejection of pre-war male privilege
as feudal landowner, commercial imperialist and breadwinning husband.
More canonical intersections of linguistic crisis, war damage and social
protest could obviously be found in the predicament of Woolf ’s Septimus
Smith and Eliot’s nerve-wracked residents of The Waste Land, in post-war
texts whose formal modernity arises from the erosions that they
undertake of traditional distinctions between public and private
spheres, war front and home front, between conventionally historical
events and the painfully permeable psycthe really subjective end of free indirect discourse in the rendering of
the warravaged Septimus Smith (Mrs Dalloway is the first of her novels
written in what became her characteristic style) and Eliot’s spasmodic,
syncopated verse in the passages of The Waste Land that deal with
similarly broken homecomings (‘What are you thinking of? What thinking?
What? / . . . I think we are in rats’ alley / Where the dead men lost
their bones’) make it inviting to connect the Great War’s causes and
effects to the emergence of new textual forms.

After all, it was the First World War that had showed the agonising
incommensurability of the old realist historiography of decisive
battles, victory and defeat, with the shapeless and essentially
unbounded damage that war inflicts. War had ceased to look formal, was no
longer believably contained by the sporting discourse, gendered and
class-bound, of winners and losers. That uniquely modern lesson about
the amorphousness of the war experience surely stands behind the
argument made by one seminal feminist essay on war studies, that we have
to think ‘beyond the exceptional, marked event, which takes place on a
specifically militarized front or in public and institutionally defined
arenas, to include the private domain and the landscape of the mind’.

Chapter 3, 'The situational politics of Four Quartets', is an


Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote Thursday, November 22, 2012 1:35


By Charles Boyd Bax
August 2010


This thesis is an examination of the poetry written by Ezra Pound and
T.S. Eliot during World War II. The works that I focus on are Pound’s
The Pisan Cantos and Eliot’s Four Quartets. I will go about this
examination by applying the vortex, as a literary term and critical
tool, to these two works of poetry. The structure of the vortex is a
swirling outer turbine held together by a calm center. The vortex was
coined as a literary term during the British avant-garde movement,
Vorticism. Ezra Pound was a prominent participant in this movement that
occurred in the early twentieth century. After Vorticism ended, Pound
continued to write about the vortex as a literary term. Eliot, though
never a Vorticist, was familiar with the concept of the vortex and
directly uses the term in Four Quartets. The application of the vortex
will show how Pound and Eliot organized their social, political, and
artistic situations at the time of World War II.