2004
Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X

Abstract

Abstract

Although speed became one of the most enticing new sensations in the first decades of the twentieth century, it was rather reluctantly embraced by official ‘high’ culture. Taking its cue from Enda Duffy’s thesis that speed was first introduced into culture via popular cultural forms such as the detective story or early film, this article analyses the role of speed in the interwar novels by the Dutch writer A. den Doolaard. It is argued that although his interwar novels gradually seem to turn away from the modern world dominated by speed (in favour of the slowness of rural places at the outskirts of civilization) they are all deeply engaged with the ideology of speed, its affinities with the modern process of the capitalist rationalisation of space, and the (im)possibility of escape. Furthermore, the ambiguous stance towards speed reveals something about the middlebrow position of these writings, which hover between legitimate culture and the popular imagination (exemplified, for instance, by the car race).

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2018-09-01
2022-01-24
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): A. den Doolaard; middlebrow; modernism; speed culture
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