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Title: Articulating place : representation and experience in contemporary literary landscapes
Author: Weston, Daniel Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 5457
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examines the representation of landscape and place across a range of genres of contemporary literature and aims to look beyond literary studies to draw on interdisciplinary dialogues with research in other fields, particularly in cultural geography, to establish new exchanges. My work looks to critical paradigms from both disciplines to devise innovative new ways of thinking about landscape writing and to assess both the form and politics of place. As such, it addresses the poetics and narratives of spatial texts. The thesis attends to a survey of contemporary writing and comprises three extended single-author case studies - of works by Ciaran Carson, W.G. Sebald, and lain Sinclair - followed by a comparative study of texts by Robert Macfarlane and Kathleen Jamie. The key findings of this research are that these writers share a combinatory approach to writing landscapes that draws on experiential, practised engagements with place, but also situates this first-hand knowledge within longer literary and pictorial traditions and histories of representing those same places. Contrary to some critical formulations, in creative texts these two emphases have not been incommensurate. As a result, my work aims to contribute to critical and theoretical debates through close reading. Each case study matches a writer to a mode of apprehending place - Sebald with picturing, Carson with mapping, Sinclair with walking, Macfarlane and Jamie with engaging - to draw out a range of sites at which representation and experience interact. The thesis concludes with an assessment of these accounts not as definitive versions of places but as subjective testimonies intervening in their making.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available