Edward Update - The Oxford Companion to English Literature

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UPWARD, Edward Falaise (1903- ), novelist, born in Essex, and educated at Repton and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, with *Isherwood, whose lifelong friend he became; at Cambridge they both wrote *Barbellion-inspired diaries, and invented the surreal imaginary world of 'Mortmere'. A long Mortmere fragment appeared in Upward's The Railway Accident and Other Stories (1969) and its fantasies are described in Isherwood's Lions and Shadows (1938), in which Upward appears as Allen Chalmers. Upward's Journey to the Border (1938) describes the progress of a neurotic tutor in an upper-middle-class household towards commitment to the workers' movement (Upward was for some years a member of the Communist Party); his trilogy In the Thirties (1962), The Rotten Elements (1969), and No Home but the Struggle (1977), published together in 1977 as The Spiral Ascent, describes the alternating political and artistic conflicts, over some decades, in the life of Marxist poet and schoolmaster Alan Sebrill. The last, and most introspective, volume affirms the narrator's need for a union of personal and political commitment in his work.