What did you say?
Valery Bryusov

“Why do you still look longing at the past / as if it were the dreamland thick with wonders?”

- Valery Bryusov

The Ideas

Read about the ideas behind BNC. Discover associated projects, and listen to our podcasts.

LISTEN LISTEN

Tune in to BNC podcasts Conversations on Communism — iTunes — Soundcloud. This podcast series is co-produced by Elinor Taylor (Westminster) and Henry Stead. Transcripts of the podcasts are available by following the links below. Frank Walbank: Polybius and Communism — An interview with Robert Lister (KCL). Cultures of Communism — Side A / Side B — An interview with Prof. Colin Chambers (Kingston). […]

RESEARCH RESEARCH

This is a resources page. Listed below are key texts, websites and other things that inform the project. It is completely subjective, selective and will shift dramatically as I chase about. Please feel free to recommend resources. As I produce work related to the project, I will also add these items at the top of the list. The […]

ABOUT ABOUT

Brave New Classics (BNC) is a Leverhulme-funded ECF project designed to explore how the intellectual repercussions of the Russian Revolution affected British culture to 1956. It focuses on creative engagement with the Greek and Roman classics in British writing. In early 20th-century Britain diverse social groups were participating in culture to an unprecedented extent, and leftist […]

The News

Read about recent finds, research trips etc...

Jazz & the Left (& honesty)

Jazz & the Left (& honesty)

Posted on Jul 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

To be honest this summer has been a bit mad, which has meant that I’ve fallen behind on the usual monthly  “Conversations on Communism” podcasts. The last conversation Elinor Taylor of Westminster (as she is commonly known) and I recorded was back in April and it was released over May and June. Since then, alack, […]

George Thomson: A Revolutionary Hellenist

George Thomson: A Revolutionary Hellenist

Posted on Mar 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

Last month Elinor and I were fortunate enough to meet with and record a conversation with Richard Seaford and Ben Harker. It was our first “full-format” Conversations on Communism podcast, where we bring two specialists from different fields to talk together about a subject of mutual interest. Richard Seaford is Professor Emeritus of Classics and Ancient History at the University […]

A View from the Wild Surf

A View from the Wild Surf

Posted on Feb 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

Happy February! Last time we spoke I was on my way to meet Helen Lindsay (above), heritage consultant and daughter of the British poet Jack Lindsay (1900-1990). Well, that was back in December and today, you can listen to our podcast, fresh from the cutting room desk. Here it is. Or, I suppose, you could get the whole Conversations on Communism series directly to […]

Brave New Classics is a Leverhume-funded ECR project designed to explore how the intellectual repercussions of the Russian Revolution affected British culture to 1956. It focuses on creative engagement with the Greek and Roman classics in British writing. In early 20th-century Britain diverse social groups were participating in culture to an unprecedented extent, and leftist writers — engaging with the classics — changed their creative practice to cater for these new readerships. This study examines the unexpected but electric convergence of British receptions of Soviet Marxism and classics, and their combined influence on British culture from 1917 to the Hungarian Revolution and Suez Crisis.

Some Words

that capture the spirit of the project

Alexander Herzen

“Do you truly wish to condemn all human beings alive today to the sad role of caryatids supporting a floor for others some day to dance on?” — 1847

- Alexander Herzen
Valery Bryusov

“Why do you still look longing at the past / as if it were the dreamland thick with wonders?”

- Valery Bryusov
Friedrich Engels

“The bourgeoisie have raised monuments to the classics. If they’d read them, they’d have burned them.”

- Friedrich Engels
George Thomson

“Our Hellenic heritage must be rescued from the Mandarins, or else it will perish, destroyed by its devotees.” — 1978

- George Thomson
Georgi Dimitrov

“Communists who do nothing to enlighten the masses on the past of their people… voluntarily hand over to the fascist falsifiers all that is valuable in the historical past of the nation.” — 1935

- Georgi Dimitrov
Jane Harrison

“The Bears revolution has made me so happy—it is the best and biggest thing the War has brought and does justify our faith in them and it is splendid that there has been so little bloodshed.”

- Jane Harrison
Randall Swingler

“The present state of classical education is the most efficient method designed for arresting the development of the individual mind.” (1937)

- Randall Swingler
Adrian Piotrovsky

“The twenty-fifth of October has given the world back Aeschylus and the Renaissance. It has given birth to a generation with Aeschylus’ fiery soul.” (1920)

- Adrian Piotrovsky
Vladimir Lenin

“Marxism has won its historic significance as the ideology of the revolutionary proletariat because… it has… assimilated and refashioned everything of value in the more than two thousand years of the development of human thought and culture.” (1920)

- Vladimir Lenin