Edward Thomas and World Literary Studies
Wales, Anglocentrism and English Literature
By (author) Andrew Webb
Publication date:31 July 2013
Length of book:288 pages
PublisherUniversity of Wales Press
Edward Thomas and World Literary Studies offers a revelatory re-reading of Edward Thomas. Adapting Pascale Casanova's vision of 'world literature' as a system of competing national traditions, this study analyses Thomas's appropriation of Anglocentric British literary culture at key moments of historical crisis in the twentieth century: after the First World War, either side of the Second World War, and with the resumption of war in Ireland in the 1970s. It shows how the dominant assumptions underpinning the discipline of English Literature marginalise the Welshness of Thomas's work, before combining this revised 'world literature' model with fresh archival research to reveal how Thomas's reading of Welsh culture - its barddas, folk and literary traditions - is central both to his creation of an innovative body of poetry and to his extensive, and relatively neglected, prose. This study is groundbreaking in its contribution to recent debates about devolution and independence for Britain's constituent nations.