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Edward Upward -- Essay Collection
full name / name of organization:
Benjamin Kohlmann, University of Oxford
CFP: EDWARD UPWARD -- ESSAY COLLECTION
Spanning nearly eight decades, the work of Edward Upward (b.1903, d. February 2009) is without parallel in English letters. Upward’s influence on the literature of the ‘Auden generation’ (from his quasi-Surrealist Mortmere fantasies to his political stories of the thirties) was outstanding; his life-long commitment to the Communist cause made him the moral authority for left-wing writers from the 1930s onwards. At the same time, Upward’s own writings have sometimes been eclipsed by the works of the authors he influenced – most notably W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood.
Upward continued to produce significant writing after World War II. His three-volume autobiography The Spiral Ascent (publ. between 1962 and 1977) stands as one of the great politico-literary confessionals of the second half of the century. Upward’s later story collections – An Unmentionable Man (1994), The Scenic Railway (1997), The Coming Day 2000) and A Renegade in Springtime (2003) –signal new artistic departures, even while they continue to offer a characteristic combination of political spokesmanship and artistic disappointment, of fantasy, autobiography and realism. Upward’s passionate, though characteristically fraught, “blending of twentieth-century styles” (Frank Kermode) remains unique in English literature. Following Upward’s death, his works stand in need of revaluation.
The collection of essays will consider Upward’s works from the 1920s until the 2000s, paying attention to the artistic, critical, political and socio-historical contexts of his oeuvre. The aim is an edited book publication or a special issue of a journal.
A wide spectrum of responses to Upward’s oeuvre are invited. Topics of interest might include, but are by no means restricted to:
- Upward and (anti-)modernism; Upward as an avant-garde writer
Please send abstracts of around 500 words and a brief CV, plus any queries to Benjamin Kohlmann (firstname.lastname@example.org) by December 31st 2009.
Completed essays will be 7-9,000 words. A tentative submission deadline for finished papers is October 31th 2010.