Cynic sensibility in British popular literature and culture, 1950 to 1987
In my thesis, I focus on delineating 'The Cynic Sensibility' in British Popular Literature and Culture (1950-1987). Focusing primarily on literature and music (and, to a lesser extent, cinema/television), this works seeks to write a cultural history through analysing cultural texts. The sensibility has three key characteristics: I) it is a Bohemian sensibility; ii) it is apolitical, in that it does not endorse any political alternative to the status quo at any given time, and iii) it is popular, and exists across traditional high/low cultural lines. Connected to this last point is a tendency to oppose stylistic Modernism and its attendant obscurities. Underpinning my thesis are the work of the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk on cynicism as a philosophical phenomenon, and the cultural theory of Raymond Williams. Using this approach, I seek to not only connect spheres of culture which hitherto have been kept separate, but to provide a different insight into 20th century British cultural history.