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Peter Kemp

In the dying months of the last century, I took a crash course in Modern British Fiction. I had opted for the most contemporary course on the Oxford English MPhil that covered the most contemporary period (1880 to the present, then generally understood to have ended circa 1970). My elective choices had all been a little unpopular: rather than a term parsing Ulysses, I read all of Conrad; where the crowd chose Pound or Eliot for the poetry elective, I turned up at St John’s each week to talk about Yeats.

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