Explores the connection between high literary culture and popular culture and argues for cultural anarchism as a form of creative resistance.
Flowers in the Dustbin looks at the volatile relations between literature, rock music, and youth subcultures in postwar England. Neil Nehring traces the continuities between the original avant-garde of the twenties and thirties and the postwar youth culture, arguing that anarchism never really disappeared from the world. The author shows that British youth groups like the Mods, the Rockers, Punks, and Teddy Boys and the music that inspired them appear increasingly more acute than their literary counterparts, belying conventional assumptions about the relative powers of "high" and "low" culture. By examining literary texts as part of a larger sampling of cultural forms and their uses in everyday life, Flowers in the Dustbin provides a striking illustration of the significance the field of cultural studies holds for studies in English.
Neil Nehring is Associate Professor of English, University of Texas.