Romantic Moderns

So, in the end I was way off in my prediction of who would win the Guardian First Book Award – it went to Alexandra Harris for her study of English modernism, and by all accounts it is a worthy winner. Here’s the announcement on the Guardian website.

Because I now know it’s the winner, I think I might leave reading it to the end. Next on the longlist will be “The Floating Man”, Katherine Towers’ first collection of poems, although at the moment I seem to be taking a detour refresher course in all the critical theory you struggle with as an arts undergraduate (History, in my case, although much of the theory wasn’t tackled until postgraduate days). I’ve found myself with volumes of the entertainingly impenetrable Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida on the go, with some more reader friendly New Historicism to follow, and some good old Terry Eagleton on the side. Because it would take me weeks, if not months, to get through all this stuff, I’ll try and combine it with the rest of the GFBA longlist. Contemporary literature by day, abstruse critical theory by night …

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