Part I: Christopher Isherwood and the Auden Generation
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Part I offers a reassessment of the 1930s literary coterie commonly referred to as the Auden generation, seeking to redress the critical balance, and resituate novelist Christopher Isherwood at the group’s aesthetic and ideological heart. Focusing primarily on the English Isherwood, it traces the author’s use and abuse of six key terms—game, family, dream, escape, leader and racket—as part of a network of sub-cultural discourse vital not only to the construction of his own queer masculinity, but to that of the group’s identity as a distinct 1930s socio-literary community. Detailed close readings of Isherwood’s prose, alongside that of W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Edward Upward and Hector Wintle, reveal a shared vocabulary of values that radically resits binary sexuality as it had begun to emerge from psychoanalytic discourse.