Lateness and modernism : untimely ideas about music, literature and politics in interwar Britain

Collins, Sarah, 1984- author

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  • Creator Sarah Collins
  • Format Books
  • Publication Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • Series
  • Physical Details
    • xiv, 174 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 26 cm
  • ISBNs 9781108481496, 1108481493, 9781108722667, 1108722660
  • OCLC on1099544468


  • In the aftermath of World War I, a sense of impasse and thwarted promise shaped the political and cultural spheres in Britain. Writers such as D. H. Lawrence, Hilda Doolittle, T. S. Eliot and Wyndham Lewis were among the literary figures who responded by pursuing vividness, autonomy and impersonality in their work. Yet the extent to which these practices were reflected in ideas about music from within the same milieu has remained unrecognised. Uncovering the work of composer-critics who worked alongside these figures - including Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock), Cecil Gray and Kaikhosru Sorabji - Sarah Collins traces the shared tendencies of literary and musical modernisms in interwar Britain. Collins explores the political investments underpinning these tendencies, as well as the influence of English Nietzscheanism and related intellectual currents, arguing that a particular conception of the self, history, and the public characterised an ethos of 'lateness' within this milieu.


  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • 1. The afterlife of a 'Beaten Ghost' -- 2. Sketch of a milieu: impasse and lateness -- 3. Impersonality and vividness; 'Le Gai Savaire', Philip Heseltine and D. H. Lawrence -- 4. Modernism, democracy and the politics of lateness: Kaikhosru Sorabji and the new age -- 5. Cycles, rotation and the image: Cecil Gray's music history and H. D.'s Imagism
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