'The Pictures … Are Even More Stark Than The Prose' (Sheffield Telegraph 2/12/1937): Word and Image in Walter Greenwood and Arthur Wragg's The Cleft Stick (1937).

HOPKINS, Christopher (2020). 'The Pictures … Are Even More Stark Than The Prose' (Sheffield Telegraph 2/12/1937): Word and Image in Walter Greenwood and Arthur Wragg's The Cleft Stick (1937). Word and Image, 36 (4), 321-342.

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Open Access URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02666... (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/02666286.2020.1758882


Walter Greenwood is well known for his novel Love on the Dole (1933), which is remembered as the iconic British novel of the Depression, selling over forty-six thousand copies and being seen as a play by some three million people in Britain. Love on the Dole was regarded as authentic testimony from a working-class author who had experienced unemployment—an experience which in fact gave him the time to write. He did not begin by writing a novel, but by writing short stories about working-class life intended for fiction magazines. However, only one of these stories was accepted. It was not until 1937 that Greenwood published all the original short stories in a format very different from that first envisaged. They appeared in The Cleft Stick (1937), a co-produced book with the artist Arthur Wragg, who drew a monochrome illustration for each story, as well as the illustrated dust-wrapper. Both Greenwood and Wragg had a certain celebrity status as working-class artists, and the book sold well. Neither word nor image in The Cleft Stick has received any critical attention since its contemporary reviews, yet was widely written about then as a controversial prequel or sequel to Love on the Dole, and regarded as an important contribution to socially aware art in Britain and the United States. The Cleft Stick has not been reprinted since 1937, but it was an important working-class literary/artistic collaboration that should be rediscovered and reintroduced into critical conversations about the 1930s, artistic, literary and political.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing; 20 Language, Communication and Culture; 12 Built Environment and Design; Art Practice, History & Theory
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/02666286.2020.1758882
Page Range: 321-342
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2019 16:06
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 17:17
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/24913

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