By W. Abendroth
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Additional resources for A Short History of the European Working Class
83 Both Holden's works cut through class boundaries unpretentiously but incisively, capturing the idiom of chatter with appropriate wit and a sense of pathos which never becomes maudlin. Storm Jameson offers yet another way of presenting current concerns in her futurist fable, Then We Shall Hear Singing (1942). 84 This novel by its tone establishes a strongly partisan support for the beleaguered peasant community, as the scientist sent by the regime sets about removing their memories so as to make them into a docile workforce, but, by using many of the features of folktale, Jameson is able to tap into the tradition whereby the lowly born triumph over all hazards to suggest that the future will bring release.
190). In recent years, critics have given a lot of attention to this issue. 36 These were characteristics, as Kemp reminds us, of what Richardson calls `feminine prose', in her `Foreword' to Pilgrimage, describing how she became aware, as she wrote, of the gradual falling away of the preoccupations that for a while had dictated the briskly moving script, and of the substitution, for these inspiring preoccupations, of a stranger in the form of contemplated reality having for the first time in her experience its own say.
She suggests that The best that the novel can do . . 34 She is, in fact, less concerned with promoting the priorities of writers like Woolf than in deploring the fact, as she sees it, that the ordinary reader is no longer able `to brace himself to bear the impact of the serious novel . . a novel, that is, in which words are used with fresh meanings and for ends with which he is unfamiliar' (p. 257); and urging that The peculiar property of a good novel . . is the series of shocks it gives to the reader's preconceptions ± preconceptions, usually unconscious, of how people behave and why, what is admirable and what reprehensible; it provides a configuration of special instances which serve as a test for our mental habits and show us the necessity for revising them.