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Title: The play of the nature/culture dichotomy in an ecocritical study of W. B. Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh, and Louis MacNeice
Author: Shokouhi , Marjan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 5175
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2014
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This dissertation aims at contributing to the emerging ecocritical scholarship in the field of Irish studies by undertaking an environmental study of the poetry of William Butler Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh, and Louis MacNeice. Ecocriticism, the study of literary texts in relation to their interconnectedness with the environment, has often been limited to the analysis of more 'natural' landscapes and the genre of nature writing. This thesis, however, problematises the common association of the term 'environment' as 'nature' and includes a study of wild, semi-urban, and urban landscapes in order to arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of environment and environmental awareness. The study of the nature-culture interactions in Irish literature offers a renegotiation of the complex and intricate relationship between place and identity as well as allowing for a consideration of the current state of ecological crisis in Ireland from a cultural perspective. The first chapter starts with the history of deforestation in Ireland from an ecophilosophical perspective and continues with an analysis of W. B. Yeats's sense of place in relation to natural/supernatural landscapes. The second chapter moves from wilderness to the country, where a romanticised idea of a primeval Irish culture was believed to be existent among the insular communities of rural West. This chapter entails a close reading of Patrick Kavanagh's rural aesthetics in comparison with W. B. Yeats's image of Ireland as a 'countrified' landscape of myth and heroism. The third chapter moves to the city as the less 'natural' but more frequently experienced form of environment. The relative peripheralisation of cities in narratives of Irish identity during the Irish Literary Revival corresponds to the overly 'pastoralised' domain of ecocriticism. I will consider Patrick Kavanagh and Louis MacNeice's urban poetics in relation to the modern Irish land/cityscape and the formation of new identity patterns. The philosophy of Martin Heidegger and Tim Ingold on environment and dwelling as well as Waiter Benjamin's work on modernity, flanerie, and metropolis provide the theoretical framework for this study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available