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Title: Anthologies of British Second World War poetry : a literary and cultural analysis
Author: Lyon, Philippa Morag.
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2005
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The thesis begins by identifying and contextualising the contemporary literary and cultural status of Second World War poetry as derivative of a small group of First World War poets. Arguing for a re-evaluation of Second World War poetry's standing, the thesis draws mainly upon non-canonical poets and texts to analyse a wide spectrum of poetic form and theme. As part of the research methodology and approach, the focus is on a selection of Second World War poetry anthologies published since 1939. These texts not only facilitate the sampling of a range of war poets' work, but also offer insights into the literary and cultural judgements that contribute to the process of editorial selection and organisation. The thesis thus relates the anthology analysis to changes both in the construction of the war poetry genre, and in the representation of the Second World War as a cultural and historical event. The war years anthologies are grouped into the categories of Wartime, Forces, Serial and Manifesto as a means of characterising the diversity of editorial discourse and approach, and lines of congruence and tension between poetry and editorial approaches are explored. The thesis then considers the dramatic decline in poetry anthologies during the post-war period. During 1946-64, there was a reluctance to view the war as a literary period, and ambivalence about the value of Second World War poetry. By the mid-Sixties a combination of economic and social change and academic developments encouraged a surge of new interest in selecting, publishing and debating the significance of Second World War poetry. The thesis discusses the persistent critical preoccupations with notions of the biographical and canonical in war poetry, and the diversification of Second World War anthologists' approaches since 1965
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available