By Stefan Collini
In a sequence of penetrating and attractively readable essays, Stefan Collini explores elements of the literary and highbrow tradition of england from the early 20th century to the current. Common Writing focuses mainly on writers, critics, historians, and reporters who occupied wider public roles as cultural commentators or intellectuals, in addition to at the periodicals and different genres by which they tried to arrive such audiences. one of the figures mentioned are T.S. Eliot, Graham Greene, J.B. Priestley, C.S. Lewis, Kingsley Amis, Nikolaus Pevsner, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Christopher Hitchens, and Michael Ignatieff.
The essays discover the range of such figures' writings -- anything that may be ignored or forgotten after they are taken care of completely when it comes to their contribution to 1 proven or expert type comparable to "novelist" or "historian" -- whereas shooting their designated writing voices and people oblique or implicit ways that they place or show themselves with regards to particular readerships, disputes, and traditions. those essays interact with contemporary biographies, collections of letters, and new versions of vintage works, thereby making a few of the end result of modern scholarly study on hand to a much broader viewers. Collini has been acclaimed as the most tremendous essayists of our time and this assortment indicates him at his refined, perceptive, and trenchant top. Common Writing will entice (and satisfaction) readers drawn to literature, background, and modern cultural debate.
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Extra resources for Common writing : essays on literary culture and public debate
In fact, Lewis rather scorned the vogue for ‘criticism’: he saw himself as a literary scholar, deeply learned in the writing and thought-worlds of earlier periods, not as any kind of textual technician or substitute therapist. ’ In his Cambridge inaugural he presented himself as a dinosaur, ‘Old Western Man’, a messenger from the culture of the two millennia before industrialism, a culture he saw as rapidly becoming not just unfamiliar but unintelligible to a younger generation. This could be seen as an honourable role for a scholar, but as a job-description it fell some way short of offering, as some other contemporary critics appeared to offer, to solve the problems of the modern world.
Lewis’s lists, and his conﬁdence in them, reﬂect not just his own tastes but the traditions of early ‘Eng Lit’ as they had grown out of the literary culture of the later nineteenth century (though Malory’s prominence may have reﬂected Lewis’s medievalist priorities and perhaps not everyone would have included Swift in this company). Essentially, the subject meant the line of poets (and poet-dramatists) from Chaucer to Wordsworth: the complete absence of novelists may seem surprising to modern readers, but Lewis had imbibed the view of an older educated class that novels were things a gentleman could read in his spare time.
His larger ambition was to conquer literary London, a task he set about with his typical energy and lack of social inhibition. He immediately placed poems in the Evening Standard and St James’s Gazette; he began negotiations for the printing of a second collection, A Quinzaine for this Yule; he got himself invited to dinner at the Poets’ Club, and shamelessly buttonholed writers at every opportunity. By June 1909 he had already made enough of a splash by his writing and his social activities to be granted the accolade of a lampoon in Punch.
Common writing : essays on literary culture and public debate by Stefan Collini