Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.513138
Title: The desire and pursuit of the whole : pattern and quest in the novels of Rose Macaulay
Author: Crawford, Alice
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1990
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Abstract:
Desire and pursuit of the whole is the theme which animates all Rose Macaulay s fiction. Her literature-rich childhood nourished both an interest in mysticism and an ambition to write poems. It is in her verse that we first see emerging her careful symbolism of quest, her obsession with pilgrims who seek the elusive goal of insight perfectly achieved. The fascination is evident in her six earliest, image-studded novels in each of which she traces a protagonist s development from innocence to maturity. The multiple symbolisms of mysticism, Platonism, Hermeticism and Christianity are juggled to produce a complex iconographical subtext to the stories of growth towards perception. While Rose Macaulay s novels of the First World War period change sharply in tone, veering towards a new mood of pragmatism, the theme of the pursuit of the whole remains clear. Now, however characters are shown realising that the "whole" is an unrealisable dream which they must, in the interests of good sense, decline to chase. They must limit their quests to the practically achievable. Satire lightens her most well-known fiction of the inter-war years, allowing her to complicate her work with the new elements of ambiguity and irony. Still convinced that the individual s impulse to search for wholeness is essential, she now combines here conviction with a satirical perception that the quest is pointless. Her field widens in these intricate, paradoxical novels and it becomes evident that her interest in the personal "pursuits of the whole" of her characters is paralleled by her anxious interest in the quest of the post-war world itself for civilisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Not available Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.513138  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN0080 Criticism ; PR English literature
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