Abstract

This article considers the novelist John Buchan’s changing responses to literary modernism in the inter-war period. It argues that although Buchan has generally been taken as a straightforward opponent of modernist writing, careful study of his oeuvre discloses a more complex scenario in which an antagonism to certain modernist “excesses” is mixed with a qualified attraction to particular modernist innovations. The article’s central assumption is that a key part of Buchan’s worth to the New Modernist Studies lies in his querying — in novelistic as well as in essayistic forms — of the vocabularies now used to elaborate such literary-historical oppositions as high vs. low, for instance, or old vs. new. The article breaks new ground by moving beyond familiar Buchan texts — e.g.The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915) — into the less appreciated territory of his novel Huntingtower (1922), his literary criticism and his cultural commentaries.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 64-82
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-11
Open Access
No
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