Imagined Futures: Writing, Science, and Modernity in the To-Day and To-Morrow Book Series, 1923-31

ISBN : 9780198829454

Max Saunders
448 ページ
156 x 234 mm

This study provides the first substantial history and analysis of the To-Day and To-Morrow series of 110 books, published by Kegan Paul Trench and Trubner (and E. P. Dutton in the USA) from 1923 to 1931, in which writers chose a topic, described its present, and predicted its future. Contributors included J. B. S. Haldane, Bertrand Russell, Vernon Lee, Robert Graves, Vera Brittain, Sylvia Pankhurst, Hugh McDiarmid, James Jeans, J. D. Bernal, Winifred Holtby, Andre Maurois, and many others. The study combines a comprehensive account of its interest, history, and range with a discussion of its key concerns, tropes, and influence.

The argument focuses on science and technology, not only as the subject of many of the volumes, but also as method-especially through the paradigm of the human sciences-applied to other disciplines; and as a source of metaphors for representing other domains. It also includes chapters on war, technology, cultural studies, and literature and the arts.

This book aims to reinstate the series as a vital contribution to the writing of modernity, and to reappraise modernism's relation to the future, establishing a body of progressive writing which moves beyond the discourses of post-Darwinian degeneration and post-war disenchantment, projecting human futures rather than mythic or classical pasts. It also shows how, as a co-ordinated body of futurological writing, the series is also revealing about the nature and practices of modern futurology itself.


PART I: Science, Imagination, Language, and Communication
1 A Scientific Age': Science, Imagination, and Popularization
2 Conflict, Connectivity, and the Tropes of Futurology
PART II: Human Sciences
3 Human Sciences
PART III: Technology, Media, Culture and the Arts
4 'The machine man of 1925': To-Day and To-Morrow and the Technological Extension of Man
5 To-Day and To-Morrow, Cultural Studies, and Everyday Life
6 To-Day and To-Morrow, Literature and Modernism
Appendix A: The Book History of the Series
Appendix B: Complete Chronological Listing of the To-Day and To-Morrow Series


Max Saunders is Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Institute, Professor of English and Co-Director of the Centre for Life-Writing Research at King's College London, where he teaches modern literature. He studied at the universities of Cambridge and Harvard, and was a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He is the author of Ford Madox Ford: A Dual Life, 2 vols. (Oxford University Press, 1996) and Self Impression: Life-Writing, Autobiografiction, and the Forms of Modern Literature (Oxford University Press 2010); the editor of five volumes of Ford's writing, including an annotated critical edition of Some Do Not . . . (Carcanet, 2010), and has published essays on Life-writing, on Impressionism, and on a number of modern writers. He was awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship from 2008 to 2010 to begin research the To-Day and To-Morrow book series; and in 2013 an Advanced Grant from the ERC for a 5-year collaborative project on Digital Life Writing called 'Ego-Media'.