The John Buchan Story

Peebles, Scottish Borders

Month: January 2018

John Buchan’s Amicable Anti-Modernism – posted 28 January 2018

John Buchan’s Amicable Anti-Modernism by Nathan Waddell, University of Birmingham, UK


This article considers the novelist John Buchan’s changing responses to literary modern-ism in the inter-war period. It argues that although Buchan has generally been taken as a straightforward opponent of modernist writing, careful study of his oeuvre dis-closes a more complex scenario in which an antagonism to certain modernist “excesses” is mixed with a qualified attraction to particular modernist innovations. The article’s central assumption is that a key part of Buchan’s worth to the New Modernist Studies lies in his querying — in novelistic as well as in essayistic forms — of the vocabularies now used to elaborate such literary-historical oppositions as high vs. low, for instance, or old vs. new. The article breaks new ground by moving beyond familiar Buchan texts — e.g. The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915) — into the less appreciated territory of his novel Huntingtower (1922), his literary criticism and his cultural commentaries. 

Please click the link below to read the full article.


The John Buchan Society – January 2018 Newsletter

The latest, January 2018,  John Buchan Society’s Newsletter is now available.

Please click on the link below to read the pdf version.




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