The genre of the circadian or one-day novel, of which James Joyce's Ulysses (1922) and Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (1925) are the most famous examples, relies on John Locke's theory of individual identity composed of memories over time. The modernist writer and critic Storm Jameson published a day novel in 1933 that draws attention to the paucity of memories in the time-starved working poor and challenges the implicit class distinction in identity formation in this genre. Jameson's A Day Off draws on Ulysses and Mrs. Dalloway to demonstrate the class assumptions made by the high modernists. By expanding the scope of the day novel to include the working poor, Jameson proposes a revised theory of memory and identity that takes into consideration the realities of class and the scarcity of time for the majority of people in modernity.
Elizabeth Covington; Splitting the Husk: The Day Novel and Storm Jameson's A Day Off. Genre 1 December 2013; 46 (3): 265–284. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00166928-2345614
Download citation file: