'The Rich Harmonics of Past Time': Memory and Montage

Taylor, E. 2014. 'The Rich Harmonics of Past Time': Memory and Montage. Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism . 12, pp. 60-72.

Title'The Rich Harmonics of Past Time': Memory and Montage
AuthorsTaylor, E.
Abstract

This article examines John Sommerfield’s 1936 novel, May Day, a work that experiments with multiple perspectives, voices and modes. The article examines the formal experiments of the novel in order to bring into focus contemporary debates around the aesthetics of socialist realism, the politics of Popular Front anti-fascism and the relationship between writers on the left and the legacies of literary modernism. The article suggests that while leftist writers’ appropriations of modernist techniques have been noted by critics, there has been a tendency to assume that such approaches were in contravention of the aesthetics of socialist realism. Socialist realism is shown to be more a fluid and disputed concept than such readings suppose, and Sommerfield’s adaptations of modernist textual strategies are interpreted as key components of a political aesthetic directed towards the problems of alienation and social fragmentation.

KeywordsCommunism
Popular Front
Modernism
Communist Party of Great Britain
JournalKey Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism
Journal citation12, pp. 60-72
Year2014
PublisherSpokesman Books
Accepted author manuscript
Cover sheet attachedTaylor_2014_accepted_author_manuscript.pdf
Publisher's versionTaylor_2014_as_published.pdf
Publication dates
PublishedOct 2014

Related outputs

The Popular Front Novel in Britain, 1934-1940
Taylor, E. 2018. The Popular Front Novel in Britain, 1934-1940. Leiden Brill.

‘The voice speaking, desired, awaited’: Jack Lindsay’s 1649, Textual Form and Communist Historiography
Taylor, E. 2017. ‘The voice speaking, desired, awaited’: Jack Lindsay’s 1649, Textual Form and Communist Historiography. Twentieth Century Communism . 12.

Review Essay: Recovering Thirties Fiction
Taylor, E. 2012. Review Essay: Recovering Thirties Fiction. Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism . 10 (141), p. 150.

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