The Proletarian Answer to the Modernist Question
Edinburgh University Press 2017
Nick Hubble’s The Proletarian Answer to the Modernist Question (Edinburgh University Press, 2017) is a thrilling, and timely challenge to the orthodoxy that proletarian and high-modernist literatures ought to be understood in opposition to one another. Featuring writers as diverse as Virginia Woolf, Naomi Mitchison, D. H. Lawrence, John Sommerfield, H. G. Wells, and Walter Brierley, this study creates new critical space that reveals the modernism in the proletarian, and the proletarian in the modernist. It foregrounds ideas of intersubjectivity, intersectional struggles, and emancipatory discourses that rely on some way of relating the ‘I’ to the ‘We’. Covering the critical discourses that have shaped our understanding of these literary movements in the UK since the interwar period, Hubble brings his critical intervention to bear on the contemporary historical moment, and asks how the proletarian answer to the modernist question might inform our political and cultural imaginations as a neoliberal consensus collapses around us.