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Title: A critical study of T.F. Powys's development from his early unpublished works
Author: Froud, A. M.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1981
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The thesis is a broadly chronological exploration of T.F. Powys's development, based on a study of unpublished works in the collection of Mr. E. Bissell. It traces Powys's experimentation with different forms of writing, from biblical interpretations, prophetic poetry, pastorals and essays to plays and short stories. It assesses the successes and failures of Powys's prolonged search for a suitable means of expression. In early works we examine Powys's prophet-like stance as he tries urgently to reconcile the dichotomies of his vision. We examine the many experiments through which Powys finds, in the fable-like short story, a more tentative form of statement which accepts inconsistencies rather than trying to explain everything away. Stylistic changes are observed. An obscure, mystical style becomes progressively more lucid. Powys gradually frees himself of an unassimilated archaic language but its flavour lingers to become a hallmark of his writing. The formality of the essays given way to the more colloquial charm of the country tales. We note the development of Powys's ironic authorial tone as part of his attempts to remove himself from his writing, as he commits himself less and less to any one point of view. Powys's light, comic touch, initially only evident in his letters, finds progressively more place in the stories, replacing the heavy solemnity of early works. His comic, rustic world develops, claiming wider and wider universality as his sense of symbolism and allegory, heavily Bunyanesque at first, later becomes so much his own. The period of development is long. There are blind alleys such as the plays. The misguided concern for social criticism is persistent. Yet we see Powys eventually approaching his final style. It is the continuing influence of the road to maturity which we trace.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available