By Malcolm Bradbury
After spending a yr instructing in an American college within the Nineteen Fifties, Malcolm Bradbury again to England merely to gain that his local nation had turn into approximately as mystifying to him because the American Midwest. As Britain marched towards a brand new decade, a lot of the rustic was once altering inexorably, its agrarian prior paved over through suburban builders, its quiet traditionalism changed via beehive hairdos and glossy, glass-walled place of work structures. And so, to confront this curious second in British historical past, Bradbury grew to become to the sharpest device in his arsenal: humor. In All Dressed Up and Nowhere to move, he writes of a rustic balancing precariously at the boundary of 2 worlds, with the wry wit and keenly observant eye that experience made him one of many 20th century’s maximum satirists.
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Extra resources for All Dressed Up And Nowhere to Go: How Malcolm Bradbury Learned to Adjust to England and Englishness All Over Again
That was going to be hard. Very hard. So why did I say yes? I can't give a clear and rational answer, something definitive. How much was youthful impulse, bravado? How much a feeling of a moral responsibility to society? How much because I was Jewish? These reasons were there, and much more. There were so many factors that, as I think back to more than a half century ago, the best that I can do is to tell a little about the world in which I lived, about who I was, and about my dreams. The year was 1937, the middle of the Great Depression.
Was this the country I was suddenly willing to die for? But modern Spain, the country I was planning to fight for, had changed. Neither communist nor socialist, it was a country in transition that stood in the center of the fight against fascism. The Republic had come into being just a few years earlier, in 1931. In place of rule by oppression and brutal political power, Spain's government had passed from being Page 20 an oligarchy controlled by the rich and powerful to being a republic of the moderate left, which meant the most reformist section of the organized working class, the socialists, the petty bourgeoisie, and the Republicans.
Exact numbers are difficult to establish. Contemporaries estimated that forty thousand volunteers from fifty-four countries served in the Brigades. Of these, about twenty-eight hundred came from the United Statesfrom every state except Delaware and Wyoming. The median age was twenty-eight; statistical "modes"the ages with the most volunteerswere twenty-three and twenty-five. So Hank Rubin, at age twenty-two, was younger than most. He was certainly more educated than most. And unlike most military recruits, he was able to use his academic training to specific advantage in Spain.
All Dressed Up And Nowhere to Go: How Malcolm Bradbury Learned to Adjust to England and Englishness All Over Again by Malcolm Bradbury