English Imaginaries: Anglo-British Approaches to Modernity (Paperback)Kevin Davey (author)
Paperback 224 Pages / Published: 08/03/1999
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When "The Who"s Pete Townshend donned a union jack jacket in the 1960s, it was a satirical statement from a young English reactionary railing against an Establishment soaked in an archaic notion of Britishness. Now, Townshend has become part of the establishment. Kevin Davey's book looks at several similar examples of the changing nature of 20th century British identity, and identifies the problems facing modernizers hampered by traditional nationalism, which fails to engage with the complexities of contemporary culture. Drawing upon the work of pre- and post-war critics of dominant notions of Britishness, including J.B. Priestley, Herbert Read, Edward Lear, and Lewis Carroll, Davey relates their views to the work of more recent challengers of traditional notions of Englishness. As well as Townshend, Davey analyses Vivienne Westwood, who invented anti-fashion and has since become a leader of "haute couture". These two are placed in context alongside contemproary icons such as Guyanan poet David Dabydeen, and young British artist Mark Wallinger. The text places the discussion of the contradictions involved in the construction and inheritance of an Anglo-British identity in the context of the Blair government's plans for the modernization of British culture.
Publisher: Lawrence and Wishart Ltd
Number of pages: 224
Dimensions: 220 x 140 mm
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