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Raymond Williams (1) (1921–1988)

Forfatter af Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society

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Raymond Williams (1921-1988) was for many years Professor of Drama at the University of Cambridge. Among his many books are Culture and Society; Culture and Materialism; and several novels. Phil O'Brien is the author of The Working Class and Twenty-First-Century British Fiction.
Image credit: Credit: Ederyn Williams

Værker af Raymond Williams

Culture and Society: 1780-1950 (1958) 602 eksemplarer
Marxism and Literature (1977) 567 eksemplarer
The Country and the City (1973) — Forfatter — 480 eksemplarer
The Long Revolution (1961) 226 eksemplarer
Culture and Materialism (1980) 199 eksemplarer
Border Country (1960) 138 eksemplarer
Orwell (1971) 116 eksemplarer
Communications (1600) 107 eksemplarer
Drama from Ibsen to Eliot (1952) 97 eksemplarer
Culture (1981) 81 eksemplarer
The Sociology of Culture (1983) 69 eksemplarer
Modern Tragedy (1966) 69 eksemplarer
May Day Manifesto 1968 (1968) 46 eksemplarer
The Volunteers (1978) 30 eksemplarer
What I Came to Say (Radius Books) (1989) 29 eksemplarer
The Raymond Williams Reader (2001) 29 eksemplarer
Drama in Performance 29 eksemplarer
Towards 2000 (1983) 29 eksemplarer
The Fight for Manod (1700) 17 eksemplarer
George Orwell: A Collection of Critical Essays (1974) — Redaktør — 17 eksemplarer
The Year 2000 (1984) 17 eksemplarer
Second Generation (1978) 16 eksemplarer
Cobbett (1983) 13 eksemplarer
De loyale (1985) 13 eksemplarer
Reading and criticism (1962) 9 eksemplarer
Drama in Performance (1954) 7 eksemplarer
Il popolo delle Montagne Nere (2000) 5 eksemplarer
Preface to film 3 eksemplarer
Socialism and Ecology 2 eksemplarer
Massemedierne 1 eksemplar
Kultur ve Materyalizm (2013) 1 eksemplar
Reading & Criticism 1 eksemplar
Historia de la comunicación — Redaktør — 1 eksemplar
Navadna kultura 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

Dombey and Son (1846) — Introduktion, nogle udgaver3,824 eksemplarer
Death of a Salesman [critical edition] (1967) — Bidragyder — 1,252 eksemplarer
The New Media Reader (2003) — Bidragyder — 297 eksemplarer
Anna Karenina [Norton Critical Edition, 2nd ed.] (1995) — Bidragyder — 229 eksemplarer
McLuhan, Hot & Cool (1967) — Bidragyder — 156 eksemplarer
Anna Karenina [Norton Critical Edition, 1st ed.] (1970) — Bidragyder — 134 eksemplarer
Mary Barton [Norton Critical Edition] (2008) — Bidragyder — 68 eksemplarer
Three Plays (1969) — Introduktion — 49 eksemplarer
Charles Booth's London (1968) — Forord, nogle udgaver42 eksemplarer
Luonnon politiikka (2003) 8 eksemplarer
Edmund Burke: Appraisals and Applications (1990) — Bidragyder — 7 eksemplarer
Literatura y política (2001) — Bidragyder — 6 eksemplarer

Satte nøgleord på

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Kanonisk navn
Williams, Raymond
Juridisk navn
Williams, Raymond Henry
Llanfihangel Crucorney, Wales, UK
Saffron Waldon, Essex, England, UK
Llanfihangel Crucorney, Wales, UK
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Saffron Walden, Suffolk, UK
King Henry VIII Grammar School, Abergavenny, Wales
Trinity College, Cambridge University (BA|1946|D.Litt|1969)
literary critic
Communist Party (1941)
Cambridge University
Oxford University
Plaid Cymru
Royal Corps of Signals
Socialist Society (co-founder | 1981)
Kort biografi
Williams' lifelong concern with the interface between social development and cultural process marked him out as one of the most perceptive and influential intellectual figures of his generation. He was an acclaimed cultural critic and commentator but considered all of his writing, including fiction, to be connected.



This seems like a seriously good book and covers communications from pre verbal and sign language through to language and symbols then writing and through to printing and electronic media. Though, because it was published in 1981, it was well before the internet took off. So somewhat dated now. Nevertheless I'm really sorry that i've never read it in detail. And I'm now in the position of having to downsize my library and this book is one of the casualties. Pity but I won't be using it in the future. I give it four stars.… (mere)
booktsunami | Jan 18, 2024 |
The Marxist cultural historian Raymond Williams, who died in 1988, is widely regarded as a hostile critic of George Orwell, but this 1971 monograph (published as part of the Fontana Modern Masters series - the ones with the groovy Op Art covers) struck me as fair-minded, often insightful and intellectually stimulating even when I disagreed with it.

Williams argues that the question of identity is central to an understanding of Orwell. When Orwell left the Imperial Police in 1928 and headed for the lower depths he attempted to reject his identity as a member of the English ruling class and create a new one and a new set of social relations. He then proceeded to inhabit a bewildering succession of identities: tramp, plongeur, Spanish Civil War combatant, revolutionary socialist, middle class English intellectual.

In his excellent book Gilded Youth: Privilege, Rebellion and the British British Public School James Brooke-Smith notes the ambivalent nature of the left-wing English public school rebels of the 1930s. Many became communists yet all retained the manners and style of their upbringing and an attitude towards their old schools which oscillated between hatred and an intense nostalgic attachment bordering on love. Orwell both fits into and stands outside of this pattern. He transferred his intellectual allegiance to the working class but never seemed entirely comfortable around them; many working class people who met him remarked on his formality, social awkwardness and apparent aloofness. At the end of his life he was simultaneously criticising the Labour government for failing to abolish public schools and thinking of sending his adopted son to his alma mater - Eton College (‘five years in a lukewarm bath of snobbery’, as he once put it). He does, however, stand apart from his contemporaries by the courageous integrity he repeatedly demonstrated; his willingness to put himself in unpleasant and life-threatening situations. He certainly did more to deracinate himself than most and the fact that he was unable to completely transcend his early conditioning seems ultimately less remarkable than the extraordinary effort he made.

Orwell’s rejection of the class ethos he had been educated to was a reaction to his experience of imperialism and Williams notes that, pretty much uniquely among his contemporaries, he viewed injustice and inequality within England in the larger context of the British Empire. His socialism was ideologically light and stressed values such as liberty and decency. It might have benefited from a bit more ideology. He wrote a great deal about class and believed that the differences between the social classes in England were gradually diminishing. He tended to concentrate, however, on largely transitory phenomena such as clothes or accents. What was lacking was any real sense of class as a social and economic system. Williams rightly rejects Orwell’s famous remark that ‘England is a family with the wrong members in control’ as overly sentimental.

He makes a convincing argument for the inherent unity of Orwell’s fiction and non-fiction. There was a lot of autobiography in his fiction and a good deal of imaginative creativity in his non-fiction (this point was elaborated on with much supporting evidence by Bernard Crick in his biography of Orwell). Essays like Shooting An Elephant and books like The Road to Wigan Pier are not historical documents but carefully crafted literary works in which Orwell shaped and edited his experience to make a polemical point. When travelling around the North of England in 1936 for Wigan Pier, for example, he was assisted by a grassroots political network of working class socialists, trade unionists and organised unemployed workers, but most of this is absent from the book, Orwell choosing instead to create the narrative of a lone observer discovering the facts by himself. The Labour Movement largely disappears from the story and the depression hit working class communities are portrayed, albeit with immense sympathy, as essentially passive victims.

For Williams Orwell’s attempt to reinvent himself and create new affiliations collapses with the despairing vision of 1984 which he evidently regards as a repudiation of socialism. This seems to me a fundamental misreading. 1984 was clearly intended as a warning, not a prophecy, and it isn’t about socialism at all; it’s about totalitarianism. Orwell drew on both fascism and communism to create his nightmare society and also on totalitarian tendencies in the capitalist democracies. There is plenty of evidence that he remained a radical socialist to the end. His main criticism of the post-war Labour government was that it was not socialist enough.

Williams is on much firmer ground when he proposes that the essence of Orwell lies in his paradoxical nature. Orwell was, in many ways, a mass of contradictions: an English patriot and a revolutionary socialist; a rebel with a strong fatalist streak; a radical who was temperamentally conservative. These are not phases in his development but overlapping tendencies found throughout his work. In most good Orwell essays there is something to annoy almost everyone. His sheer contrariness and multifaceted individuality continue to make him wonderfully readable.

I first read Orwell in my late teens and have been reading and re-reading him ever since. I still admire his work as much as I ever did but my understanding of it has certainly shifted over the years. These days I tend to see past the plain speaking ‘honest George’ persona telling it like it is (as Williams comments Eric Arthur Blair’s greatest fictional creation was George Orwell) and appreciate much more Orwell’s artistry as a writer, the complexity behind the deceptively simple prose style and the sheer slipperiness of his thought. The more you get to know him the more fascinatingly mysterious and elusive he becomes.
… (mere)
gpower61 | 1 anden anmeldelse | May 6, 2023 |
Anniversary edition of the classic political manifesto Urgently relevant to current arguments about the crisis of austerity, the 1968 manifesto set out a new agenda for socialist Britain, after the failure of the postwar consensus. It sought to change the nature of the state, to drive a wedge between finance and empire, to stress the importance of a planned economy for all, and to detach Britain from the imperial goals to which it had long been committed. Today, the spirit of The May Day Manifesto offers a road map to a brighter future. The original publication brought together the most influential radical voices of the era. Among the seventy signatories were Raymond Williams, E. P. Thompson, Stuart Hall, Iris Murdoch, Terry Eagleton, Ralph Miliband, and R. D. Laing. This edition comes with an introduction from Owen Jones, who brings a sense of urgency and hope to the contemporary debate.… (mere)
LarkinPubs | Mar 1, 2023 |



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