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Elizabeth Bishop and the Baroque: a study in spatial constructs

Cheema, Amna Umer (2018) Elizabeth Bishop and the Baroque: a study in spatial constructs. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This thesis explores Elizabeth Bishop's ways of seeing things, spaces and other art forms as ever-changing spatial patterns in seventeenth-century Baroque art. This Baroque optic gives her poetry the illusion of movement through non-linear perspectives of liminality and depth in her visual field. Keeping this style of perception in view, this study demonstrates how Bishop's creative process and self-representation are informed by her consciousness of seventeenth-century spatiality in conjunction with its renewal in the twentieth-century discussions on the Baroque as a style of modernity. In literary studies, the connection of Bishop's visual poetics to early-modern and modern artists and art forms has often been understood as ways to sensuously perceive geography and history. This study synthesises Bishop's dispersed visual interests with her fondness for the spatial constructs perceivable in seventeenth-century Baroque art. Bishop's affinity with varied spatial patterns of the Baroque art derives from her consciousness of Counter-Reformation art, seventeenth-century mathematics and cosmic designs, as well as her fondness for George Herbert's and John Donne's awareness of the plurality of universe in which they expand and contract the scales of their spiritual and secular love. This can be seen in Bishop's representation of her poetic space structured like a rhizome, as a universe of infinite folds, as a painterly landscape, and a geometrical ellipse and its rhetorical ellipsis, and in her fascination for the denotative meaning of the term Baroque - an imperfect pearl. This thesis argues that Bishop's consistent engagement with the Baroque - as a recurrent style of art, and not just a fixed period in history - defines the expanse of her modest form of contemporary baroque poetry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Elizabeth Bishop, Baroque, Fold, Rhizome, Painterly, Ellipse, Ellipsis
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mrs AMNA CHEEMA
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2018 11:17
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 11:17
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21980

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