POSTWAR BRITISH FICTION by James Gindin

POSTWAR BRITISH FICTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This first full length assessment of Britain's new bumper crop of novelists and playwrights is readable and resonant. But it has faults. For one thing, critic Gindin is invigorating only in so far as the writers dealt with are too; half the time they're not. For another, his analyses often seem interchangeable: the heroes and heroines, usually intelligent, irreverent products of the working class, have overlapping sensibilities, spirit-of-the-age sameness. Thirdly, the brush-off of Durrell and Snow seems too fast, too smart. Anyway, the following represent the triumvirate of top talents: Angus Wilson's pithy prisms of truth and falsity, Irish Murdoch's imagistic illusions a la Freud and Sartre, Allan Sillitoe's almost stalwart anti-heroes; while sophisticates Wain and Amis, socialists Wesker and Lessing, youngsters Storey and Sinclair, and the metaphorical world of William Golding all come in as close seconds. What do they have in common, besides being anti-establishment? A sense of the pragmatic, relativistic, existential; some engage in a socio-political ""commitment"" to the world as it is, qualified and quixotic; others continue the search for identity with a multiple awareness of the shifting times, temperaments, truths. A critical collage, a good general introduction.

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 1962
Publisher: Univ. of California