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Title: The narrative poetry of Vladimir Holan, 1939-1955
Author: Partridge , James
ISNI:       0000 0004 0156 3948
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis concerns itself with seven of the major Pribehy (narrative poems) written by the Czech poet Vladimir Holan between 1939 and 1955. It does not attempt a full analysis of all of the pribehy, nor does it rely on any preformed critical or theoretical apparatus. Various influences on Holan's poetry, including the importance of Russian poetry for Holan's wartime narratives, are initially investigated.The first narrative, Prvni testament, introduces the broader thematic and lexical perspectives. The analysis of Cesta mraku brings a further examination of influences and intertextuality, e.g. exploring the centrality of Milton in Holan's poetics. Suggestions for an approach to the prosody of the wartime narratives concludes this part of the thesis. An analysis of the post-war poem Navrat emphasises how Holan's mature presentation of themes such as Fate, suffering, innocence, spirituality versus corporeality, and the role of the poet begin to come into focus in the late 1940s. The account of Zuzana v lazni offers the most comprehensive exegesis in the thesis, showing how Holan combines historical sources, biblical and poetic resonances to shape Zuzana v lazni into one of the key poems in the cycle. The role of poet as prophet and outcast is further explored in analyses of three short narratives from the early 1950s. A discussion of the post-war free-verse prosody follows. The thesis concludes by showing how the poet figure metamorphoses into the poet-prophet, viewed as pari of the onward continuum of visionary poets. Holan's Pribehy are seen as meditations on poetry, the poet, and the act of engaged reading. Poetry, in Holan's view, is a unique medium through which to contemplate and grapple, through difficulty, with the enigmatic in human existence, exploiting complex potentials of imagery, myth and language.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available