Domestic Modernism, the Interwar Novel, and E. H. Young provides a valuable analytical model for reading a large body of modernist works by women, who have suffered not only from a lack of critical attention but from the assumption that experimental modernist techniques are the only expression of the modern. In the process of documenting the publication and reception history of E. H. Young's novels, the authors suggest a paradigm for analyzing the situation of women writers during the interwar years. Their discussion of Young in the context of both canonical and noncanonical writers challenges the generic label and literary status of the domestic novel, as well as facile assumptions about popular and middlebrow fiction, canon formation, aesthetic value, and modernity. The authors also make a significant contribution to discussions of the everyday and to the burgeoning field of 'homeculture,' as they show that the fictional embodiment and inscription of home by writers such as Young, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen, Ivy Compton-Burnett, Lettice Cooper, E. M. Delafield, Stella Gibbons, Storm Jameson, and E. Arnot Robertson epitomize the long-standing symbiosis between architecture and literature, or more specifically, between the house and the novel.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: ’And what about the home?’; The interwar domestic novel and the meaning of home; Home lives, still lifes; House haunting; Private and public spheres: publication and reception; The turn to domestic modernism; Vicarages and lodging-houses; Modern heroines of the everyday; England, my England; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
'Briganti and Mezei’s investigation of domesticity and modern literature smoothly synthesizes the authors’ deep expertise in both the modern novel and theoretical writings on the home. Very lucidly written, this book works well as both an introduction to the topic, appropriate for students, and as a deeply researched, authoritative overview of the field.' Christopher Reed, Chair, Department of Art, Lake Forest College, and author of Bloomsbury Rooms: Modernism, Subculture, and Domesticity 'Chiara Briganti and Kathy Mezei have done justice to this most subtle and personally secretive of authors by setting Young's supposedly "middlebrow" work convincingly n the context of contemporary literary trends.' Times Literary Supplement ’... ground-breaking study... complemented by ten illustrations and photographs, an impressive twenty-five-page bibliography, and an exemplary index listing numerous rubrics... Each of the book's eight chapters has extensive explanatory notes... the crux of Domestic Modernism is Young's novels, each given a lucid, lively plot summary...’ Modern Language Review