Impromptu in Moribundia

Patrick Hamilton
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ISBN 9780571283637 Format Paperback
Published 17/11/2011 Length 194 pages

About Book

A stunning anomaly within the literary oeuvre of Patrick Hamilton, Impromptu in Moribundia (first published in 1939) is the most explicit production of his interest in a Marxist analysis of society. It is a satirical fable about one (nameless) man's trespass (through a fantastical machine called the 'Asteradio') into a parallel universe on a far-off planet where the 'miserably dull affairs of England' are mirrored and transformed into an apparent idyll of bourgeois English imagination.

Moribundia - in the words of Peter Widdowson, editor and annotator of this edition - is the 'physical enactment of the stereotypes and myths of English middleclass culture and consciousness.' Yet the narrator comes to discover that he has stumbled among a people characterized by 'cupidity,
ignorance, complacence, meanness, ugliness, short-sightedness, cowardice, credulity, hysteria and, when the occasion called for it... cruelty and blood-thirstiness.'

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