Sylvia Townsend Warner
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2022 ◽  
Author(s):  
Jennifer Poulos Nesbitt

The book examines rum in anglophone Atlantic literature between 1945 and 1973, the period of decolonization, and explains the adaptation of these images for the era of globalization. Rum’s alcoholic nature links it to stereotypes (e.g., piracy, demon rum, Caribbean tourism) that have constrained serious analysis in the field of colonial commodities. Insights from anthropology, history, and commodity theory yield new understandings of rum’s role in containing the paradox of a postcolonial world still riddled with the legacies of colonialism. The association of rum with slavery causes slippage between its specific role in economic exploitation and moral attitudes about the consequences of drinking. These attitudes mask history that enables continued sexual, environmental, and political exploitation of Caribbean people and spaces. Gendered and racialized drinking taboos transfer blame to individuals and cultures rather than international structures, as seen in examinations of works by V. S. Naipaul, Hunter S. Thompson, Jean Rhys, and Sylvia Townsend Warner. More broadly, these stereotypes and taboos threaten understanding West Indian nationalism in works by Earl Lovelace, George Lamming, and Sylvia Wynter. The conclusion articulates the popular force of rum’s image by addressing the relationship between a meme from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films and rhetoric during the 2016 election year.


Author(s):  
Sylvia Townsend Warner

An unpublished short story by Sylvia Townsend Warner. It fancifully elaborates the story of Acts 4 and 5 of Hamlet, starting on board the ship taking Hamlet to England after the killing of Polonius. The story begins before the Danish vessel’s encounter with a pirate ship and Hamlet’s capture by the pirates, and imagines the circumstances by which he returns to Denmark in the changed state of mind in which we meet him in Act 5.


Author(s):  
Lynn Mutti

This article describes the friendship between Sylvia Townsend Warner, Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten in the 1970s. It draws on previously unpublished correspondence held at the Britten-Pears Archive and the Sylvia Townsend Warner and Valentine Ackland Archive. It describes the role that John Craske’s paintings played in establishing the connection between Warner and Pears, details some visits and covers Britten’s illness and death. The article also describes the concert in Warner’s honour planned by Pears and given in Aldeburgh in July 1977.


Author(s):  
Sylvia Townsend Warner

Writing in 1948, Sylvia Townsend Warner takes a sceptical look at recent trends in performances of Hamlet on stage and screen, and also at academic and psychoanalytic discussions of the play.


Author(s):  
Michael Bloch ◽  
Susan Fox

This chapter from the new biography of Stephen Tomlin by Michael Bloch and Susan Fox details the years 1921–3, when Tomlin and Sylvia Townsend Warner knew each other best and saw one another most frequently.


Author(s):  
Sylvia Townsend Warner

This is the second part of a two-part edited presentation of Sylvia Townsend Warner’s unfinished sequel to her 1948 novel The Corner That Held Them. The first part was published in the Sylvia Townsend Warner Journal 2020:1, pp. 8–38. Part 2 continues to describe the early stages of a pilgrimage from England to Jerusalem.


2021 ◽  

The literature of the 1930s occupies an important and complex position in critical accounts of modern British and Irish writing. Unlike terms such as modernism and postmodernism, writing of the 1930s does not announce itself as an “ism,” seeming at first glance to operate as a neutral label for writing that happens to have been published in the period 1930–1939. Like modernism and postmodernism, however—indeed in some ways even more so—the term is, in practice, associated with a specific set of thematic concerns, aesthetic approaches, and political commitments. The unique literary mythology of the “Red Decade” was being deliberately and self-consciously encoded by key protagonists before the decade was out, with W. H. Auden influentially regretting the “clever hopes” of a “low, dishonest decade” in his poem “September 1, 1939.” Auden’s own accounts of his dalliance with left-wing, committed writing and his subsequent disillusionment—mirrored by the trajectories of Stephen Spender, Louis MacNeice, and others—helped to consolidate a narrative of the decade’s literature as one that began with the articulation of overweening “clever hopes,” and ended as these were exposed as dangerous, adolescent illusions. The thirties, for some time, operated as a convenient box for the idea of committed literature. The decade confronted students of modern literature like a carefully curated museum display designed to illustrate the folly of mixing political commitment with literature. Yet this familiar narrative of the decade’s writing is modeled around the particular experiences of a few, largely male, upper-middle-class poets. Since the 1980s, the general tendency of scholarship has been to complicate or unpick this narrative, expanding the canon beyond the Auden circle, emphasizing continuities with the modernism of the 1920s, and producing more nuanced accounts of committed literature that are not bound up with its inevitable failure. These shifts have gone along with a rising tide of scholarly interest in previously neglected women writers, including Winifred Holtby, Storm Jameson, Rose Macaulay, and Sylvia Townsend Warner, among many others. In our own troubled political times, literature of the ‘thirties continues to provoke and fascinate because of the important questions it poses about writing and commitment, even while the forms of commitment and the range of writers studied under this heading have proliferated. Through this process an excessively tidy literary-historical narrative has increasingly been replaced by something messier, more open ended, and ultimately more interesting.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1-2) ◽  
pp. 57-72
Author(s):  
David Malcolm

The interrelations of sound, voice and silence in three realist short stories by Sylvia Townsend Warner from the 1940s are discussed. The stories are ‘The Proper Circumstances’, ‘The Mother Tongue’ and ‘A Breaking Wave’, all published in the posthumous collection One Thing Leading to Another (1984). Warner is shown to be deeply attuned to sound and its absence in her short fiction; these motifs are integrated with other aspects of setting and with character and narration. Both sound in the text and sound of the text are of semantic importance in her work. Warner’s presentation of silence as a source of power is remarkable, silence being usually configured as lack of agency. Warner’s deployment of silence is related to her status as a lesbian writer.


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