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An ‘Impatient Modernist’: Mulk Raj Anand at the BBC

An ‘Impatient Modernist’: Mulk Raj Anand at the BBC <jats:p> Mulk Raj Anand's self-description – in a 1945 broadcast about war-time London – as an ‘impatient modernist’ highlights Anand's ability to harness the velocity of broadcast production, transmission, and reception into an aesthetic of speed. Pairing Anand's unpublished BBC scripts with his war-time novel The Big Heart (1945), I show how Anand's work remediating contemporary texts for broadcast accompanied a shift in his approach to writing fiction, using the technique of intertextual scaffolding to accelerate composition. This article proposes that the name of Anand's impatience was realism – that Anand's fascination with literary modernists such as Joyce and Woolf was tempered with a desire for the immediacy and social embeddedness of realism and that broadcasting encouraged Anand in his attempt to pair modernism's cosmopolitanism and polyvocality with realism's speed, engagement, even ephemerality. Challenging the often feeble distinction between realism and modernist anti-representational technics, Anand's radio writing captures the contradictions of combined but uneven development. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

An ‘Impatient Modernist’: Mulk Raj Anand at the BBC

Modernist Cultures , Volume 10 (1): 83 – Mar 1, 2015

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2015
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2015.0099
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> Mulk Raj Anand's self-description – in a 1945 broadcast about war-time London – as an ‘impatient modernist’ highlights Anand's ability to harness the velocity of broadcast production, transmission, and reception into an aesthetic of speed. Pairing Anand's unpublished BBC scripts with his war-time novel The Big Heart (1945), I show how Anand's work remediating contemporary texts for broadcast accompanied a shift in his approach to writing fiction, using the technique of intertextual scaffolding to accelerate composition. This article proposes that the name of Anand's impatience was realism – that Anand's fascination with literary modernists such as Joyce and Woolf was tempered with a desire for the immediacy and social embeddedness of realism and that broadcasting encouraged Anand in his attempt to pair modernism's cosmopolitanism and polyvocality with realism's speed, engagement, even ephemerality. Challenging the often feeble distinction between realism and modernist anti-representational technics, Anand's radio writing captures the contradictions of combined but uneven development. </jats:p>

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2015

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