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Title: 'Out from under the body politic' : poetry and government in the work of C.H. Sisson, 1937-1980
Author: King, Henry Marcus
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores the relationship between government and poetry in the verse, essays, and translations of Charles Hubert Sisson (1914-2003). Theories of sovereignty and government drawn from the work of Giorgio Agamben are used to interrogate these issues in Sisson’s critical and creative writing. Sisson’s work is contextualised within the politics of post-WWII Britain, taking in such issues as the altered relationship between the arts and the state, the decline of the British Empire and the subsequent influx of Commonwealth immigration, the changing status of the monarchy, and the importance of the environment. The thesis is divided into five chapters. The first comprises a preliminary theoretical excursus, focussing on poems by Sisson and C. Day Lewis. The second analyses Sisson’s portrayal of the country and the city, and his own position in relation to them. The third places Sisson’s work in the context of the changing nature of laureateship in the era 1945-1976, comparing his work with that of Philip Larkin and C. Day Lewis. The fourth investigates the politics of translating Virgil after the Second World War, and especially after Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech of April 1968. The final chapter returns to Sisson’s wartime and immediately post-war writings, especially on the subject of India, before moving on to the poems collected in Exactions (1980).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PR English literature