Addressivity and Literary History: The Case of William Plomer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Literary history has a community-making dimension. It can be studied as a history of the ways in which writers have addressed various sorts of audience. And in this kind of history, re-examining the careers of supposedly minor writers can unexpectedly highlight major trends. This chapter rescues the career of William Plomer (1903-73) from neglect. Reintroducing Plomer to his period means examining the particular ways in which he straddled boundaries including those between national literatures and the writing of different identities of other sorts. Plomer's addressivity is distinguished by welcoming multiplicity and by a characteristic of aloofness. This perhaps explains why he is now relatively unread, unlike contemporaries such as Forster, Woolf, Isherwood, Greene and Auden.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationLiterary Community-Making: The Dialogicality of English Texts from the Seventeenth Century to the Present
EditorsRoger D. Sell
PublisherJohn Benjamins
ISBN (Electronic)9789027274175
ISBN (Print)9789027210319
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • Plomer, William (1903-73)
  • Scholarly communication
  • literary history

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