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'That other life so near in time and distance' New Perspectives on Great War poetry at the time of the centenary: a practice-led critical study.

Malone, Martin (2016) 'That other life so near in time and distance' New Perspectives on Great War poetry at the time of the centenary: a practice-led critical study. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The multidisciplinary approach I’ve adopted looks to use both critical and practice-led research in order to open up new space between the broader literary and cultural registers of the Great War alongside those of the 21st century. At its core is a desire to exert some pressure upon notions of an “appropriate” linguistic register for the imaginative commemoration of a century-old war that has grown to represent a core mythology for subsequent poetic constructions of modern warfare. The resulting poetry collection, Ghosts of the Vortex, seeks then, to create a transitional idiolect of commemoration more suited to our times. In order to achieve this, I adopt a number of approaches that might be characterized as manifestations of a “neo-modernism”. These include self-translation/ transposition, palimpsest, the use of reconfigured quotation, the poetic re-writing of literary criticism and an extension of the license for a self-conscious use of anachronism suggested by Geoffrey Hill in Mercian Hymns. Alongside this, the critical chapters reflect some of the key concerns of the poetry and share its desire to find new ways of scrutinising Great War poetry in the light of all that has already been written. Chapter 1 revisits a foundational critical text – Jon Silkin’s Out of Battle – and mimics his close reading style to examine a compositional tic identified by him as being typical of much trench poetry. Chapter 2 revisits the Great War canon on the basis of the atypical circumstantial nature of its composition, using the theoretical model of Bakhtin’s chronotope to do so. The third chapter is an exercise in reception studies, examining noteworthy poetic responses to the fiftieth anniversary of the Great War and the final chapter examines the contested nature of Irish involvement in the conflict through its nuanced manifestations in the work of Seamus Heaney.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Martin Malone
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2017 09:09
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2017 09:09
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16574

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