By Andy Croft
For over 70 years, the Communist celebration of serious Britain had a unprecedented effect on British cultural existence, exercise a power relatively out of share to its dimension or political impression. Many paintings types have been revitalized or profoundly replaced, new ones have been confirmed or formed by means of teams and participants linked to the occasion. They introduced a dynamism and imaginative and prescient to cultural construction - no matter if in tune, movie, theatre or literature - that helped lay the principles of a brand new radical tradition, a innovative avant garde during which the fight was once to supply a tradition for and of the folks, within the entrance line of the conflict of principles. This quantity recounts the histories of the artists, poets and cultural visionaries of the interval, putting them in a broader historic context and supplying an creation to British social and cultural historical past within the twentieth century.
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Additional resources for A Weapon In The Struggle: The Cultural History of the British Communist Party
16 For a comparison between the two novels, see Manfred Malzahn, ‘Coming to Terms with Industrial Scotland: Two “Proletarian” Novels of the 1930s’, and Christopher Whyte, ‘Imagining the City: The Glasgow Novel’, both in Joachim Schwend and Horst W. Drescher eds, Studies in Scottish Fiction: Twentieth Century (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1990), pp. 193–205, 317–33. 17 The Complete Poems of C. Day Lewis (London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1992), p. 162. Barke has a predilection for the use of quotations as titles.
The transposition of such figures from 1920s’ Berlin to the eating houses and offices of the City of London is no doubt entirely purposeful in insisting that the attitudes and behaviour of the capitalist class unite its members more recognisably than any incidental difference of nationality. 10 Surrealism was late arriving in Britain and could claim very little support or understanding among artists, let alone the general public, prior to the New Burlington Galleries exhibition. But this event was crucial and led to the formation of a British Surrealist group and the inclusion of a number of significant English Modernists like Henry Moore, Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland in the exhibition.
15 Neither was he sanguine about the likelihood of art dealers departing from their customary and profitable practice of treating the sale of pictures as an exclusive, luxury trade despite the success that artists themselves had had in initiating travelling exhibitions (through AIA projects) to factory canteens, village halls and service messes during the war and winning a resounding appreciation for contemporary art. He acknowledges that this particular period of wartime unity of spirit and the social role it allotted to the artist was temporary and untypical and can find no specific form to give structure to any future aspirations for the social function of the artist: It remains for the years ahead to show how influential an agent of change he can be, in the changes that must be made if we are to avoid the final destruction a Third World War will bring.
A Weapon In The Struggle: The Cultural History of the British Communist Party by Andy Croft