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Title: Landscape, space and place in English- and German-language poetry, 1960-1975
Author: Thomas, Nicola
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 6530
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines representations of space, place and landscape in English and German-language poetry of the period 1960-1975, a key transitional phase between modernity and postmodernity. It proposes that the impact certain transnational spatial revolutions had on contemporary poetry can only be fully grasped with recourse to comparative methodologies which look across national borders. This is demonstrated by a series of paired case studies which examine the work of J. H. Prynne and Paul Celan, Sarah Kirsch and Derek Mahon, and Ernst Jandl and Edwin Morgan. Prynne and Celan’s 'Sprachskepsis' is the starting point for a post-structuralist analysis of meta-textual space in their work, including how poetry’s complex tectonics addresses multifaceted crises of representation. Mahon and Kirsch’s work is read in the context of spatial division, and it is argued that both use representations of landscape, space and place to express political engagement, and to negotiate fraught ideas of home, community and world. Jandl and Morgan’s representations of space and place, which often depend on experimental lyric subjectivity, are examined: it is argued that poetic subject(s) which speak from multiple perspectives (or none) serve as a means of reconfiguring poetry’s relationship to space at a time when social, literary and political boundaries were being redefined. The thesis thus highlights hitherto underexplored connections between a range of poets working across the two language areas, making clear that space and place is a vital critical category for understanding poetry of this period, including both experimental and non-experimental work. It reveals weaknesses in existing critical taxonomies, arguing for the use of ‘late modernist’ as category with cross-cultural relevance, and promotes methodological exchange between the Anglophone and German traditions of landscape, space and place-oriented poetry scholarship, to the benefit of both.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN 80 Criticism ; PR English literature ; PT Germanic literature