|Title||'The Rich Harmonics of Past Time': Memory and Montage|
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.
|Communist Party of Great Britain|
|Journal||Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism|
|Journal citation||12, pp. 60-72|
|Accepted author manuscript|