In this stimulating study Murray Roston adds a further volume to his chronological series placing literature within the context of contemporary movements in the visual arts. He explores here how writers in the early half of the twentieth century - Conrad, T. S. Eliot, Woolf, Joyce, Faulkner, Hemingway, Aldous Huxley and others - responded to the specific challenges of their time, to the implications of Freudian psychology, molecular theory, relativist theory, and the general weakening of religious faith. Assuming that artists and writers, in attempting to cope with these problems, would develop techniques in many ways comparable, he positions those writers against the background of Modernist painting, architecture and sculpture, thereby providing some fascinating insights into the nature of the literary works themselves. Of his previous volume, Victorian Contexts, a reviewer wrote: 'Imagine Hazlitt's The Spirit of the Age devoted to the Victorian period, by a scholar who writes as well as Hazlitt, has a wider range, is a more subtle thinker, and draws on a postmodernist critical theory. Such is Murray Roston's Victorian Contexts: Literature and the Visual Arts.
His concern with contexts is synchronic, all-inclusive, trans-media, cross-discipline, with each generation's 'perspectives' in the sense of 'seeing through' one scene into another, each artist's finding a way to cope with the controlling elements of the time ...a richness impossible to follow in a brief review.' - Nineteenth-Century Literature