Devolving English Literature

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9780198112983: Devolving English Literature


Discussing English, American, Irish, Australian, and other writings, Crawford concentrates on Scottish literature, which furnishes the most extended and acute model of a culture concerned to maintain and develop its own identity while engaging with England's linguistic and political dominance. Starting with the eighteenth-century `Scottish invention of English Literature', Crawford traces in Boswell, Burns, and others the evolution of a distinctively British Literature. This process culminated in Scott who, with Carlyle, encouraged nineteenth-century American writing and left rich legacies both to anthropology and the literary Modernism of Eliot, Pound, Joyce, and MacDiarmid. This essentially provincial phenomenon of Modernism underwrites even Larkin, as well as such sophisticated post-British `barbarian' poets as Heaney, Harrison, Dunn, Murray, and Walcott.

Devolving English Literature makes a major contribution to the current debates regarding English-speaking literary culture and the participation in it of non-English speakers, arguing accessibly and clearly for devolutionary readings, alert to nuances of cultural difference.

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About the Author:


Robert Crawford is Professor of Modern Scottish Literature at the University of St Andrews

Review:


"Devolving English Literature is a stunning book: original, extraordinarily wide-ranging, coherent, reflective, and strongly argued....A consistently impressive book."--Studies in English Literature 1500-1900


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