By Peter J. Kalliney
Commonwealth of Letters examines midcentury literary associations critical to modernism and postcolonial writing. a number of enterprises significant to interwar modernism, resembling the BBC, influential publishers, and college English departments, grew to become vital websites within the emergence of postcolonial literature after the conflict. How did a few of modernism's top figures of the 1930s-such as T.S. Eliot, Louis MacNeice, and Stephen Spender-come to respect past due colonial and early postcolonial literature within the Nineteen Fifties? equally, why did overdue colonial and early postcolonial writers-including Chinua Achebe, Kamau Brathwaite, Claude McKay, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o-actively search alliances with metropolitan intellectuals? Peter Kalliney's unique and vast archival paintings on modernist cultural associations demonstrates that this disparate crew of intellectuals had powerful specialist incentives to regard each other extra as fellow literary execs, and not more as political or cultural antagonists.
Surprisingly, metropolitan intellectuals and their past due colonial opposite numbers leaned seriously on modernist theories of aesthetic autonomy to facilitate their collaborative ventures. For white, metropolitan writers, T.S. Eliot's proposal of impersonality may perhaps support recruit new audiences and conspirators from colonized areas of the realm. For black, colonial writers, aesthetic autonomy should be used to visualize a literary sphere uniquely immune to the different types of racial prejudice endemic to the colonial process. This strategic collaboration didn't final perpetually, yet as Commonwealth of Letters shows, it left a long-lasting imprint at the final disposition of modernism and the evolution of postcolonial literature.