DECLARATION by Tom-Ed. Maschler


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Eight of Britain's ""young literary lions"" who have been rather packlahly and fictitiously tagged as the Angry Young Men have been asked here to express themselves and their beliefs, to define themselves in relation to society today. All of them - while acknowledging the impoverishment of the time in which they live -have found a point of commitment beyond the repudiation of the past. For Doris Leasing, it is a larger vision, the ""warmth, compassion, humanity"" which illuminated the literature of the 19th century; for the ""Outsider,"" Colin Wilson, imprisoned by reality, it is an attempt to get free toward some spiritual sphere (perhaps the muzziest mystique here); John Osborne, certainly the angriest, is concerned with the way people live and John Wain asserts that the artist's function is to humanize his society- ""the bit of life lived by him in the corner of history and geography he inhabits""-while, on the other hand, keeping one's head. Kenneth Tynan's ""rag-bag of an aesthetic credo"" is easily the most entertaining- and evasive; Bill Hopkins demands a redirection toward some belief; Lindsay Anderson asserts the for revitalization to offset the ""luxury of scepticism"" we can no longer afford, and Stuart Holroyd, the most philosophical here (and the philosopher must also be a religious thinker) re-defines his ""Will to Freedom""..... For more than a coterie this is an often brilliant barrage of words- and a manifesto of intents and ideals which will define the aesthetic and intellectual climate of the younger generation.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1958
Publisher: Dutton