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Transforming texts : adaptation and ekphrasis in the poetry of Derek Mahon and Paul Muldoon.

Cunningham , Kay M. (2012) Transforming texts : adaptation and ekphrasis in the poetry of Derek Mahon and Paul Muldoon. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This thesis will explore the historical inheritance and use of adaptation and ekphrasis in the poetry of Derek Mahon and Paul Muldoon. Both poets include other texts in their work to perpetuate dialogues on history, aesthetics and poetic form, using images, symbols and formal structures to question what poetry can or should do. Looking at the revisionary power of language this thesis will turn to examples of adaptation and revision in the work of each poet. In the poetry of Mahon, it will show how ekphrasis engages with questions of history and aesthetics through the relationship between visual and verbal forms. The result is a poetry that develops temporal and spatial qualities connected to the poet's sense of self and to his philosophical and intellectual concerns for poetry. In his later collections, ekphrasis contributes to Mahon' s metaphysical landscapes as they resist the symbolic or unified vision of cultural archetypes to focus on the 'harsh realities' of a contemporary world at war. In the poetry of Muldoon, the visual and verbal components of language develop a conscious boundary between the image and the ideological and historical dialogues that surround it. Muldoon develops stories out of objects that establish a dialogue on the formal qualities of language and of the poet's relation to it. His poetry self-consciously engages with the structural and conceptual problems of representation, adapting the ideas of philosophers, writers and poets to develop a poetry that expresses what it cannot state. His resistant form demonstrates a responsibility to both himself and the present time in which he is writing.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.575413
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2017 12:02
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2017 12:02
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15008

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