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Title: Sweetness and light
Author: Craig, Katie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 7795
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2014
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1. Sweetness and Light. A novel. Judi lives in a nice, clean house with her seventeen year old stepson, who won’t talk to her in anything but monosyllables. His father, Nelson, and she are struggling to relate to each other, since they fell out over Judi’s continued desire to have a baby, despite many miscarriages. She’s forty-one. Her relationship has lost its spark, she doesn’t know how to talk to the man that she lives with anymore. To make matters worse, he is her boss too. Judi needs answers, what she discovers instead is The Secret, Rhonda Byrne’s internationally bestselling guide to shaping the world around you with the power of your mind. Judi soon discovers she’s pretty good at it. Uncanny things start to happen. A wine-do with literary pretentions leads to an unexpectedly spiritual interlude, during which Judi is led, by a cosmic vision, to discover the sinister happenings at her work place. Hope, a schizophrenic woman in their care, has been raped, and is pregnant. Worse, Judi has strong reason to suspect that her abuser is the man she has shared her life with. With The Secret as her moral compass, Judi decides to kidnap Hope and raise the baby as her own. The relationship on the brink, becomes a game of brinkmanship. As Judi struggles to build a dream-life from the wreckage of the old, the burden of past makes its weight felt. A novel of secrets, and The Secret. An exploration of cosmic ordering, and its consequences. 2. Making Light Of The Holocaust: Modelling Calvino’s concept of lightness as an appropriate literary response to the Shoah in Anne Michaels’ Fugitive Pieces. In Six Memos For The New Millenium, Italo Calvio proposes that lightness is a literary value which can act against cultural and creative paralysis. Given the ongoing cultural obligation to bear witness to the events of The Holocaust, might lightness be a necessary approach to post-holocaust literature? Calvino’s concept of lightness is deconstructed and examined in relation to the Memorial to The Murdered Jews Of Europe. The understandable critical hesitancy surrounding a light approach to the atrocities is examined, with special reference to Benigni’s La vita è bella Finally, taking Anne Michaels’ novel Fugitive Pieces as an exemplar of the lightness Calvino advocated at work in the field of holocaust literature, the case is made for the appropriateness, and potential necessity, of this approach in works that address The Holocaust, in the specific context of Michaels’ work and more generally.
Supervisor: Stack, Allyson; Jamieson, Alan; Gillis, Alan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: novel ; Calvino ; Italo ; Holocaust ; Michaels ; Anne