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Title: The enduring wound : recontextualising Goodbye to all that, The White goddess and the poetry of Robert Graves
Author: Nicholson, Chris
ISNI:       0000 0004 2684 5554
Awarding Body: University of Northampton
Current Institution: University of Northampton
Date of Award: 2007
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Critics usually see Robert Graves as a writer concerned with personal and private themes. Yet Goodbye to All That reflects what amounts to an experience of `modernity' in the early Twentieth Century. Graves' early life, characterised by separation, deracination, injury, guilt and fragmentation, culminated in the First World War with severe wounds. Though Graves is rarely considered to be a modernist, these traumatic experiences inculcate characteristics exemplified by modernist writers such as Eliot. Left with a need to trace his origins, Graves recapitulates, striving for integration and reconciliation through the writing of Goodbye to All That. This attempt was unsuccessful because Graves repressed memories and feelings that were too painful to address. However, in a number of important poems written between the years 1916 and 1951 Graves repeatedly reverts to certain themes and images as a mode of meditating, in a recuperative way, upon the painful wounds, horror, separation, and fragmentation of his early years. Through this process, Graves sees a developing and pragmatic relationship between nature, love and poetry. This relationship culminates in The White Goddess, which takes the reader on a difficult journey through fragmented material leading to poetic synthesis and integration. Through this oblique text, analysed here in terms of its modernist structure, Graves fully incorporates his emotional and physical wounds into a meaningful and reparative framework. Graves achieves a sense of homecoming and a regeneration of poetic impetus that allows him to transcend both the disruptions of his personal life and those of modernism
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available