Storm Jameson, The New English Weekly, and Antifascist Book Reviewing

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paper

Abstract

This paper examines Storm Jameson’s contributions to A. R. Orage’s magazine, New English Weekly, in relation to her anxieties about the rise of fascism. Jameson began contributing to the magazine in April 1932, a month after returning from a long stay in Berlin, where she had witnessed the rise of the Nazis. She contributed book reviews regularly to New English Weekly until March 1933, as part of her antifascist strategy as a writer.

While Jameson had previously contributed book and theatre reviews to magazines including The Egoist, The English Review and The Fortnightly Review, her contributions to New English Weekly represented a development in her approach to the form. Instead of assessing books solely in terms of their literary value, Jameson produced review-essays that discussed the social value and functions of modern fiction. For Jameson, popular novels tended to reinforce dominant ideologies, making the reading public uncritical and unable to effect social change. Social change was urgently necessary, as Jameson believed that capitalist modernity – what she called the dominance of ‘industrial and commercial values’ – was fragmenting society and fueling the growth of fascism.

This paper argues that, in her review-essays, Jameson not only recommended fiction that would make her readers more critical of capitalist society, but also, in performing the act of criticism, sought to provide a model for her readers to emulate.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019
EventBAMS New Work in Modernist Studies - University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Dec 20196 Dec 2019

Conference

ConferenceBAMS New Work in Modernist Studies
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLiverpool
Period6/12/196/12/19

Keywords

  • Storm Jameson
  • magazines
  • The New English Weekly
  • anti-fascism
  • print culture
  • women's writing

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