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Introduction: Women, Modernism, and Intelligence Work

Introduction: Women, Modernism, and Intelligence Work Introduction: Women, Modernism, and Intelligence Work Simon Cooke and Natalie Ferris In 1945, Elizabeth Bowen recognised a ‘rising tide of hallucination’ in her own writing, a change in authorship wrought by war that responded to a reality that was ‘a little stranger than fact’. Bowen is a useful point of departure for this special issue, as a writer who triangulates questions of gender, modernism and intelligence. Her powers of surveillance and intuition were what recommended her in 1940 to the Ministry of Information, for which she drafted several intelligence reports on public and private opinion in Ireland of the country’s neutrality. The Heat of the Day (1948) is a novel that could be placed alongside those by Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene and John Le Carré as one of the most celebrated spy fictions of the twentieth- century, while also existing as a signal late modernist text that subverts the masculine dominance of the genre. As a woman modernist, Bowen is unusual in her prominence in the most familiar trajectories of literature and espionage in the long twentieth-century. And yet she is only the most noted example of what this special issue seeks to draw attention to: the scope and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Introduction: Women, Modernism, and Intelligence Work

Modernist Cultures , Volume 16 (4): 16 – Nov 1, 2021

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2021.0346
Publisher site
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Abstract

Introduction: Women, Modernism, and Intelligence Work Simon Cooke and Natalie Ferris In 1945, Elizabeth Bowen recognised a ‘rising tide of hallucination’ in her own writing, a change in authorship wrought by war that responded to a reality that was ‘a little stranger than fact’. Bowen is a useful point of departure for this special issue, as a writer who triangulates questions of gender, modernism and intelligence. Her powers of surveillance and intuition were what recommended her in 1940 to the Ministry of Information, for which she drafted several intelligence reports on public and private opinion in Ireland of the country’s neutrality. The Heat of the Day (1948) is a novel that could be placed alongside those by Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene and John Le Carré as one of the most celebrated spy fictions of the twentieth- century, while also existing as a signal late modernist text that subverts the masculine dominance of the genre. As a woman modernist, Bowen is unusual in her prominence in the most familiar trajectories of literature and espionage in the long twentieth-century. And yet she is only the most noted example of what this special issue seeks to draw attention to: the scope and

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2021

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