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Red BritainThe Russian Revolution in Mid-Century Culture$
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Matthew Taunton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198817710

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198817710.001.0001

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(p.263) Conclusion
Red Britain

Matthew Taunton

Oxford University Press

The conclusion assesses the contribution of Red Britain to the study of twentieth-century literature and politics. It touches on questions of periodization, assessing the usefulness of terms such as ‘late modernism’, the ‘long 1930s’, and ‘mid-century’ in light of the book’s arguments. In particular, it is argued here that Red Britain resists a still dominant narrative of the ‘Red Decade’, which sees the politicized writing of the Auden gang as a temporary and embarrassing blip, in which the energies released by the Russian Revolution could be cordoned off and dismissed as the youthful enthusiasm of a few upper-middle-class, Oxbridge poets. The cultural effects of the Russian Revolution run deeper and wider, as the preceding chapters have shown. The conclusion then reflects on some methodological questions, arguing that Red Britain represents a decisive move away from a Marxist aetiology of culture, while also acknowledging a debt to the New Left, and to Raymond Williams in particular.

Keywords:   Communism, Marxist literary criticism, 1930s literature, periodization, mid-century, modernism, late modernism

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