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Title: In Ordinary Time
Author: Benning, Sheri-Lynne Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 4665
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2015
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In Ordinary Time consists of two parts, a critical introduction and novel. Focused by my sister Heather Benning’s site-specific sculptural installations, the introductory essays perform a fine topography of place, specifically of the wilderness and watersheds of my natal home in central Saskatchewan, a landscape exhausted by the current reign of corporate agriculture. While each essay can be considered discretely, they are better read as a whole as themes, stories, and various thinkers are returned to in the manner of leitmotifs. With each return, understanding deepens and alters – this movement suggestive of the ongoing nature of my meditation on place, how it shapes who we are. To further trace my continued engagement with these themes, the introduction is interleaved with poems from my collection of new and selected, The Season’s Vagrant Light (Carcanet Press 2015). Similarly, In Ordinary Time constitutes an archive of the subtleties that generate a sense of place. Set mainly between the mid-1930s and the mid-1950s, the novel centres on eight-year-old Luke Abend and his mother, Magda, descendents of German-speaking, Catholic Russians, who immigrated to rural Saskatchewan to escape religious persecution. Their intertwined narratives, which give voice to the harsh exigencies of life on a subsistence farm, reveal that not only ancestral history and inherited faith determine identity, but also that intimacy with place shapes who we are. Refashioned from the remnants of the family farm, both In Ordinary Time and the introductory essays will stand in stark contrast with Saskatchewan’s corporatized prairie. These works will invite the reader in, even as she is expelled by the current un-livability of the milieux. By coupling the sensation of intimate dwelling with the contemporary reality of rural abandonment, these projects will make manifest the complex costs attendant to the dramatic shift in Saskatchewan’s farming terrain.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PR English literature