By Steve Ellis
This publication considers the literary building of what E. M. Forster calls 'the 1939 State', specifically the anticipation of the second one global battle among the Munich situation of 1938 and the top of the Phoney conflict within the spring of 1940. Steve Ellis investigates not just myriad responses to the approaching warfare but additionally numerous peace goals and plans for post-war reconstruction defined via such writers as T. S. Eliot, H. G. Wells, J. B. Priestley, George Orwell, E. M. Forster and Leonard and Virginia Woolf. It argues that the paintings of those writers is illuminated through the apprehensive tenor of this era. the result's a singular research of the 'long 1939' , which transforms readers' realizing of the literary historical past of the eve-of-war period
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Of a kind of totalitarian democracy’ in England and America (Idea, p. 48). Even so, Eliot is no more enthusiastic about the liberalism which Dawson sees as the positive antithesis to democracy: in what he describes as its licensing of individualism in all its forms, Eliot warns that ‘Liberalism can prepare the way for that which is its own negation: the artiﬁcial, mechanised or brutalised control which is a desperate remedy for its chaos’ (p. 49); neither is he sanguine about Dawson’s proposals for a new ‘organisation of culture’ (Idea, pp.
52 In providing what is again a very partial picture, Eliot can once more target not German religion but ‘Liberal Protestantism’ at home: translated into English terms, [Hauer] might be made to appear as simply a patriotic Modernist. The German National Religion, as Hauer expounds it, turns out to be something with which we are already familiar. So, if the German Religion is also your religion, the sooner you realize the fact the better. (Idea, p. 87) Yet the familiar English ‘Modernist’ which Eliot makes of Hauer disarms him of his repeated racial frenzy and aggressive nationalism, together with an educational illiberalism also clearly on show in Germany’s New Religion (pp.
Although noting in Idea that the latter’s The Religious Prospect had appeared too late in 1939 to be ‘made use of’ by him (p. 41), Eliot’s discussion of it in the New English Weekly in October 1939 stresses its contention, ‘which I have myself for some time held, but which before reading this book I did not so well understand’, that ‘Liberalism . . is something which leads . . to modern totalitarianism’. 31 Once liberalism has divorced itself from a Christianity that can be the only ‘guarantor’ of man’s individual validity (The Religious Prospect, p.
British writers and the approach of World War II by Steve Ellis