This book provides a clear and accessible guide to the essential features of interwar British fascism. It focuses on the various fascist parties, fascist personalities and fascist ideologies. The book also looks at British culture and develops the knowledge of undergraduate students by providing a solid source of background material on this important area of interwar British history. The focus on fascist culture throws new light on the character of native fascism and suggests a potentially rich vein of new enquiry for scholars of British fascism. The book considers the membership strength of Britain's interwar fascist parties. The ideas of racial Social-Darwinism influenced British fascism in a number of ways. To begin with, hereditarian ideas and biological determinist models contributed to the emergence of racial theories of anti-semitism. The anti-semitism of the Imperial Fascist League was of a very different order from that of the British fascism. Moreover, to Britain's fascists, artistic modernism, with its creative use of distortion, disintegrative images and general disdain for the traditional discipline of the art form, made a virtue of deformity. The search to uncover the anti-liberal and anti-capitalist pre-fascist lineage would become a highly subjective exercise in invention and take the fascists on an imaginative journey deep into the British past.
’s fascists were more unambiguously anti-modern than in any other area of their thinking. 3
The first shock-waves of artisticmodernism in fact were felt in Britain before the onset of the Great War, with a number of native painters who eventually collaborated in the Camden Town Group, notably Spencer Gore, Harold Gilman, Charles Ginner and the older painter Walter Sickart, producing work which was distinctly Post-Impressionist in flavour. 4 Vorticism also hit the British cultural scene in 1912. Vorticism was an authentic ‘home-grown’ modernist movement. The Vorticists
analysts dissect it, or
Cambridge University Press publish Adlington’s book?) These
beliefs, in turn, may be seen to be derived from a more general ideology of artisticmodernism which legitimates this work and the
activities of figures such as Birtwistle.
From a sociological perspective, it is this discourse, this framework of legitimation, and the claims and activities it licenses, which
are of primary analytical interest, rather than ‘the music’ itself. Cases
such as that of Birtwistle’s music, where questions of meaning and
interpretation are constantly foregrounded
visual devices being used and the elusive relationship between representation and truth. Considering audiences’ visual literacy and knowledge of the gestures of costumbrismo, these chapters stepped away from readings that understand social types as hackneyed, nostalgic figures hindering the adoption of modernist art and avant-garde styles. Instead, I have attempted to shed light on their popularity into the twentieth century by acknowledging their informative nature (rather than placing them in the history of artisticmodernism) and their fundamental role in building
corners of the
world is often held up as a damning indictment of modernity, which would
seem clearly to align the postcolonial with the postmodern.
It is often argued that anticolonial African cultural production was
inspired by a desire to create both an African modernity – emerging
African nations creating the structures of the modern, rational, democratic
and industrialised nation state – and an African artisticmodernism
all been crucial to my
understandings of modernisms in India.
Adorno, Minima Moralia , p. 208.
Sanjukta Sunderason, “Making art modern:
re-visiting artisticmodernism in South Asia,” in Dube (ed.),
Modern Makeovers , p. 246
Pleasantville: artisticModernism, the sexual
revolution, the subcultural radicalism of rock ‘n’ roll and
jazz, the burgeoning impact of feminism and civil rights protest. These
libertarian, or maverick, symbols are then set against a rag-bag of
right-wing invocations, also played out as part of the community’s
unfolding civic drama. These range from Kristallnacht and fascist book
burning to McCarthyite
’s The Manxman (1929) and Anthony Asquith’s A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929), can be spoken of in the same breath as the French and German films as films that are ‘modernistic, experimenting with the possibilities of silent film narrative in an epoch of artisticmodernism’. 7 In a similar vein, Ian Christie includes A Cottage on Dartmoor in an article on key silent films drawn from an ‘international repertoire’ which includes work by leading European directors of the 1920s such as F. W. Murnau, G. W. Pabst, René Clair, Luis Buñuel and Carl Dreyer. 8
Humble argues that the construction of domestic life in these magazines was ‘in a relation to the outside world that is simultaneously anxious and exhibitionist’. 14 Stories in Modern Woman voice these anxieties, with their focus on the inner, emotional life of the home, destabilising the concept of domesticity as comfortable and constant and instead presenting it as a site for possible insecurity and instability. 15
These melodramatic, middlebrow formats were engaging with domestic life with an emphasis on the unconscious, an idea more common in artistic
8 Nabarun Bhattacharya, Harbart, trans. Arunava Sinha (Chennai: Tranquebar
Press, 2011), 51.
2 9 Geoffrey Moorhouse, Calcutta (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971), 337.
3 0 Bannerjee, India’s Simmering Revolution, 178.
31 Seth, ‘Indian Maoism’, 290.
32 Seth, ‘Indian Maoism’, 304.
33 Seth, ‘Indian Maoism’, 307.
34 I am drawing my arguments here from a previously published article, ‘Making
Art “Modern”: Revisiting ArtisticModernism in India’, in Saurabh Dube (ed.),
Modern Makeovers: A Handbook of Modernity in South Asia (New Delhi: