Before his masterpiece The Rise of the Novel made him one of the most influential post-war British literary critics, Ian Watt was a soldier, a prisoner of war of the Japanese, and a forced labourer on the notorious Burma-Thailand Railway.
Both an intellectual biography and an intellectual history of the mid-century, this book reconstructs Watt's wartime world: these were harrowing years of mass death, deprivation, and terror, but also ones in which communities and institutions were improvised under the starkest of emergency conditions. Ian Watt: The Novel and the Wartime Critic argues that many of our foundational stories about the novelabout the novel's origins and development, and about the social, moral, and psychological work that the novel accomplishescan be traced to the crises of the Second World War and its aftermath.
About the Author
Marina MacKay, Associate Professor in the Faculty of English and Tutorial Fellow of St Peter's College, University of Oxford
Marina MacKay is Associate Professor of English and Tutorial Fellow of St Peter's College, University of Oxford. Her books include Modernism and World War II (2007) and The Cambridge Introduction to the Novel (2010). Her articles on mid-century writing have appeared in a range of journals including PMLA, ELH, and Literature & History.
Table of Contents
1. Lt Ian Watt, POW
2. Defoe's Individualism and the Camp Entrepreneurs
3. Richardson, Identification, and Commercial Fantasy
4. Chaos in the Social Order: Fielding and Conrad
5. Realist Criticism and the Mid-Century Novel
6. The Prison Camp English Department