16,118 research outputs found

    The place where curses are manufactured : four poets of the Vietnam War

    Get PDF
    The Vietnam War was unique among American wars. To pinpoint its uniqueness, it was necessary to look for a non-American voice that would enable me to articulate its distinctiveness and explore the American character as observed by an Asian. Takeshi Kaiko proved to be most helpful. From his novel, Into a Black Sun, I was able to establish a working pair of 'bookends' from which to approach the poetry of Walter McDonald, Bruce Weigl, Basil T. Paquet and Steve Mason. Chapter One is devoted to those seemingly mismatched 'bookends,' Walt Whitman and General William C. Westmoreland, and their respective anthropocentric and technocentric visions of progress and the peculiarly American concept of the "open road" as they manifest themselves in Vietnam. In Chapter, Two, I analyze the war poems of Walter McDonald. As a pilot, writing primarily about flying, his poetry manifests General Westmoreland's technocentric vision of the 'road' as determined by and manifest through technology. Chapter Three focuses on the poems of Bruce Weigl. The poems analyzed portray the literal and metaphorical descent from the technocentric, 'numbed' distance of aerial warfare to the world of ground warfare, and the initiation of a 'fucking new guy,' who discovers the contours of the self's interior through a set of experiences that lead from from aerial insertion into the jungle to the degradation of burning human feces. Chapter Four, devoted to the thirteen poems of Basil T. Paquet, focuses on the continuation of the descent begun in Chapter Two. In his capacity as a medic, Paquet's entire body of poems details his quotidian tasks which entail tending the maimed, the mortally wounded and the dead. The final chapter deals with Steve Mason's JohnnY's Song, and his depiction of the plight of Vietnam veterans back in "The World" who are still trapped inside the interior landscape of their individual "ghettoes" of the soul created by their war-time experiences

    Northern Powerhouses: the homes of the industrial elite, c.1780-1875

    Get PDF
    This thesis explores the world of the industrial elites of Manchester and Liverpool in the period c.1780-1875, through their houses. The homes of the industrial elites, namely merchants and manufacturers, were extremely important tangible communicators of wealth, taste, and comfort. Whilst status-building was closely connected to the house, this thesis argues that the industrial elites carved their own identities into their domestic spheres and that emulation was not solely linked with aspiration. The findings of this thesis are based around its three research aims regarding the changing location of houses in Manchester and Liverpool in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the appearance and use of houses, and the daily routines and involvement of the industrial elite in their domestic routines. An analysis of elite residential patterns in Manchester and Liverpool across the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has created a more nuanced look at urban geographies of the region in this period. Though some residential patterns differed because of economic and political structure, a key finding has been that the process of suburbanisation in and around Manchester and Liverpool commenced earlier than previous scholarship has suggested. Suburbanisation among the elites began in the latter decades of the eighteenth century and into the early decades of the nineteenth century, with elite suburban communities being firmly established by the 1820s. This thesis discovered that despite socio-economic and political differences, the industrial elites of Manchester and Liverpool used their houses, gardens, and landed estates in very similar ways. This was a result of conformity which arose from emulation at both a community-based level and the emulation and aspiration of elite, gentrified lifestyle. Also, the merchants and manufacturers analysed within this work were involved in their home at every level of domesticity, from the construction of the house to the financial management of the household, although this latter theme was often a cooperative effort between spouses and family members, adding more to our understanding of gender, domesticity, and familial relations. Through detailed case studies and a combination of sources, the private lives of the industrial elites have been revaluated and redefined, including showing how their houses functions metaphorically and in reality

    Grape Head: Rejecting Compulsion/Repulsion Through the Development of a Queer Trans Dramaturgy

    Get PDF
    The following thesis tracks the creation, development and production of my thesis show Grape Head. At first, I will develop a queer dramaturgy that I plan on engaging with through my development period. This dramaturgy will be rooted in techniques that I will establish in the artistic challenge section of the thesis document. The techniques are based on research, observation and practice. I will contextualize these techniques, the ways they did or did not work, creating a final rendition of a personalized queer dramaturgical approach. Finally I will explore with the content and development of Grape Head

    Metaphors of London fog, smoke and mist in Victorian and Edwardian Art and Literature

    Get PDF
    Julian Wolfreys has argued that after 1850 writers employed stock images of the city without allowing them to transform their texts. This thesis argues, on the contrary, that metaphorical uses of London fog were complex and subtle during the Victorian and Edwardian periods, at least until 1914. Fog represented, in particular, formlessness and the dissolution of boundaries. Examining the idea of fog in literature, verse, newspaper accounts and journal articles, as well as in the visual arts, as part of a common discourse about London and the state of its inhabitants, this thesis charts how the metaphorical appropriation of this idea changed over time. Four of Dickens's novels are used to track his use of fog as part of a discourse of the natural and unnatural in individual and society, identifying it with London in progressively more negative terms. Visual representations of fog by Constable, Turner, Whistler, Monet, Markino, O'Connor, Roberts and Wyllie and Coburn showed an increasing readiness to engage with this discourse. Social tensions in the city in the 1880s were articulated in art as well as in fiction. Authors like Hay and Barr showed the destruction of London by its fog because of its inhabitants' supposed degeneracy. As the social threat receded, apocalyptic scenarios gave way to a more optimistic view in the work of Owen and others. Henry James used fog as a metaphorical representation of the boundaries of gendered behaviour in public, and the problems faced by women who crossed them. The dissertation also examines fog and individual transgression, in novels and short stories by Lowndes, Stevenson, Conan Doyle and Joseph Conrad. After 1914, fog was no more than a crude signifier of Victorian London in literature, film and, later, television, deployed as a cliche instead of the subtle metaphorical idea discussed in this thesis

    Supernatural crossing in Republican Chinese fiction, 1920s–1940s

    Get PDF
    This dissertation studies supernatural narratives in Chinese fiction from the mid-1920s to the 1940s. The literary works present phenomena or elements that are or appear to be supernatural, many of which remain marginal or overlooked in Sinophone and Anglophone academia. These sources are situated in the May Fourth/New Culture ideological context, where supernatural narratives had to make way for the progressive intellectuals’ literary realism and their allegorical application of supernatural motifs. In the face of realism, supernatural narratives paled, dismissed as impractical fantasies that distract one from facing and tackling real life. Nevertheless, I argue that the supernatural narratives do not probe into another mystical dimension that might co-exist alongside the empirical world. Rather, they imagine various cases of the characters’ crossing to voice their discontent with contemporary society or to reflect on the notion of reality. “Crossing” relates to characters’ acts or processes of trespassing the boundary that separates the supernatural from the conventional natural world, thus entailing encounters and interaction between the natural and the supernatural. The dissertation examines how crossing, as a narrative device, disturbs accustomed and mundane situations, releases hidden tensions, and discloses repressed truths in Republican fiction. There are five types of crossing in the supernatural narratives. Type 1 is the crossing into “haunted” houses. This includes (intangible) human agency crossing into domestic spaces and revealing secrets and truths concealed by the scary, feigned ‘haunting’, thus exposing the hidden evil and the other house occupiers’ silenced, suffocated state. Type 2 is men crossing into female ghosts’ apparitional residences. The female ghosts allude to heart-breaking, traumatic experiences in socio-historical reality, evoking sympathetic concern for suffering individuals who are caught in social upheavals. Type 3 is the crossing from reality into the characters’ delusional/hallucinatory realities. While they physically remain in the empirical world, the characters’ abnormal perceptions lead them to exclusive, delirious, and quasi-supernatural experiences of reality. Their crossings blur the concrete boundaries between the real and the unreal on the mental level: their abnormal perceptions construct a significant, meaningful reality for them, which may be as real as the commonly regarded objective reality. Type 4 is the crossing into the netherworld modelled on the real world in the authors’ observation and bears a spectrum of satirised objects of the Republican society. The last type is immortal visitors crossing into the human world. This type satirises humanity’s vices and destructive potential. The primary sources demonstrate their writers’ witty passion to play with super--natural notions and imagery (such as ghosts, demons, and immortals) and stitch them into vivid, engaging scenes using techniques such as the gothic, the grotesque, and the satirical, in order to evoke sentiments such as terror, horror, disgust, dis--orientation, or awe, all in service of their insights into realist issues. The works also creatively tailor traditional Chinese modes and motifs, which exemplifies the revival of Republican interest in traditional cultural heritage. The supernatural narratives may amaze or disturb the reader at first, but what is more shocking, unpleasantly nudging, or thought-provoking is the problematic society and people’s lives that the supernatural (misunderstandings) eventually reveals. They present a more compre--hensive treatment of reality than Republican literature with its revolutionary consciousness surrounding class struggle. The critical perspectives of the supernatural narratives include domestic space, unacknowledged history and marginal individuals, abnormal mentality, and pervasive weaknesses in humanity. The crossing and supernatural narratives function as a means of better understanding the lived reality. This study gathers diverse primary sources written by Republican writers from various educational and political backgrounds and interprets them from a rare perspective, thus filling a research gap. It promotes a fuller view of supernatural narratives in twentieth-century Chinese literature. In terms of reflecting the social and personal reality of the Republican era, the supernatural narratives supplement the realist fiction of the time

    Marvellous real in the Middle East: a comparative study of magical realism in contemporary women’s fiction

    Get PDF
    Magical realism has been studied extensively in relation to Latin America and subsequently in other parts of the world, yet the Middle East has not received adequate attention in academic scholarship. This PhD study examines a selection of contemporary female-authored narratives from the Middle East to establish an understanding of the practice of magical realism in this region. The selected texts for this study are: Raja Alem’s Fatma and My Thousand and One Nights; Shahrnush Parsipur’s Women Without Men and Touba and the Meaning of Night; Elif Shafak’s The Bastard of Istanbul and Gina B. Nahai’s Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith. This study firstly explores the concept of magical realism as a mode of writing and determines its relationship to the Middle Eastern context. It then evaluates the texts under scrutiny by examining how the narrative of magical realism is constructed and what the sources are of the magical component in these texts, specifically in relation to Middle Eastern mythology. It also investigates the ideological aspect behind the employment of magical realism and whether it serves any political goal. The analysis of the selected texts is approached from three standpoints, that is, from literary, mythological and ideological perspectives. I argue that magical realism serves various purposes and that it is applied from perspectives that can be regarded as marginal to their communities’ dominant values, to subvert mainstream ideology. I also demonstrate that the Middle East is a crucial place to investigate magical realism because of the numerous complex cultural values that interact with each other in this region, and which enrich the practice of magical realism

    ‘Mental fight’ and ‘seeing & writing’ in Virginia Woolf and William Blake

    Get PDF
    This thesis is the first full-length study to assess the writer and publisher Virginia Woolf’s (1882-1941) responses to the radical Romantic poet-painter, and engraver, William Blake (1757-1827). I trace Woolf’s public and private, overt and subtle references to Blake in fiction, essays, notebooks, diaries, letters and drawings. I have examined volumes in Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s library that are pertinent, directly and indirectly, to Woolf’s understanding of Blake. I focus on Woolf’s key phrases about Blake: ‘Mental fight’, and ‘seeing & writing.’ I consider the other phrases Woolf uses to think about Blake in the context of these two categories. Woolf and Blake are both interested in combining visual and verbal aesthetics (‘seeing & writing’). They are both critical of their respective cultures (‘Mental fight’). Woolf mentions ‘seeing & writing’ in connection to Blake in a 1940 notebook. She engages with Blake’s ‘Mental fight’ in ‘Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid’ (1940). I map late nineteenth and early twentieth-century opinion on Blake and explore Woolf’s engagement with Blake in these wider contexts. I make use of the circumstantial detail of Woolf’s friendship with the great Blake collector and scholar, Geoffrey Keynes (1887-1982), brother of Bloomsbury economist John Maynard Keynes. Woolf was party to the Blake centenary celebrations courtesy of Geoffrey Keynes’s organisation of the centenary exhibition in London in 1927. Chapter One introduces Woolf’s explicit references to Blake and examines the record of Woolf scholarship that unites Woolf and Blake. To see how her predecessors had responded, Chapter Two examines the nineteenth-century interest in Blake and Woolf’s engagement with key nineteenth-century Blakeans. Chapter Three looks at the modernist, early twentieth-century engagement with Blake, to contextualise Woolf’s position on Blake. Chapter Four assesses how Woolf and Blake use ‘Mental fight’ to oppose warmongering and fascist politics. Chapter Five is about what Woolf and Blake write and think about the country and the city. Chapter Six discusses Woolf’s reading of John Milton (1608-1674) in relation to her interest in Blake, drawing on the evidence of Blake’s intense reading of Milton. Chapter Seven examines further miscellaneous continuities between Woolf and Blake. Chapter Eight proposes, in conclusion, that we can only form an impression of Woolf’s Blake. The thesis also has three appendices. First, a chronology of key publications which chart Blake’s reputation as well as Woolf’s allusions to Blake. Second a list all of Blake’s poetry represented in Woolf’s library including contents page. The third lists all the other volumes in Woolf’s library that proved relevant. Although Woolf’s writing is the subject of this thesis, my project necessitates an attempt to recover how Blake was understood and misunderstood by numerous writers in the early twentieth century. The thesis argues Blake is a model radical Romantic who combines the visual and the verbal and that Woolf sees him as a kindred artist

    'Exarcheia doesn't exist': Authenticity, Resistance and Archival Politics in Athens

    Get PDF
    My thesis investigates the ways people, materialities and urban spaces interact to form affective ecologies and produce historicity. It focuses on the neighbourhood of Exarcheia, Athens’ contested political topography par excellence, known for its production of radical politics of discontent and resistance to state oppression and eoliberal capitalism. Embracing Exarcheia’s controversial status within Greek vernacular, media and state discourses, this thesis aims to unpick the neighbourhoods’ socio-spatial assemblage imbued with affect and formed through the numerous (mis)understandings and (mis)interpretations rooted in its turbulent political history. Drawing on theory on urban spaces, affect, hauntology and archival politics, I argue for Exarcheia as an unwavering archival space composed of affective chronotopes – (in)tangible loci that defy space and temporality. I posit that the interwoven narratives and materialities emerging in my fieldwork are persistently – and perhaps obsessively – reiterating themselves and remaining imprinted on the neighbourhood’s landscape as an incessant reminder of violent histories that the state often seeks to erase and forget. Through this analysis, I contribute to understandings of place as a primary ethnographic ‘object’ and the ways in which place forms complex interactions and relationships with social actors, shapes their subjectivities, retains and bestows their memories and senses of historicity

    The Reputations of Sir Francis Burdett

    Get PDF
    • 

    corecore