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Title: Dreams, desire and nightmares in the poetry of John Keats : a text world theory account
Author: Giovanelli, Marcello
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 043X
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2011
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This study uses and develops text world theory to explore the use of desire and dream states in four poems by the nineteenth century poet John Keats. Text world theory as it currently stands has yet to be sufficiently developed to account for the representation and conceptualisation of desire and dream states. This study aims to provide a framework for accounting for these phenomena by proposing a continuum of mentation, classifying distinct desire and dream worlds by differences in speaker volition, distance to reality and the degrees of modal force. The study also proposes that the nightmare world, an extreme type of dream world characterised by negative colouring and inherent world-switching potential, offers a more developed way of accounting for the conceptualisation of nightmare experiences in text world theory. This model is then applied in detailed cognitive poetic analyses of four of Keats's poems. In each case, a reading of the poem is provided that explores the setting up of and interplay between different kinds of desire and dream states. Within these analyses, the study firstly demonstrates how Keats positions his reader into adopting particular vantage points from which conflicting types of love and desire are explored. Secondly, it provides evidence to show that nightmare worlds in Keats's poems emulate a nightmare experience both stylistically and in their intended impact. Thirdly, it accounts for the ways in which the nightmare world is functionally significant when considered in the context of the poems in their entirety. This study therefore aims to both augment current work in text world theory to allow for a systematic exploration of desire, dreams and nightmares and to provide focused and innovative readings of a major English poet. Since there has been little work on either dreams or Keats's poetry in the field of cognitive poetics, this study is a timely response to a gap in existing stylistic and literary critical research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available