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Title: Borderlands : a novel and poetics
Author: Holloway, Philippa
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 1459
Awarding Body: Edge Hill University
Current Institution: Edge Hill University
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis comprises a novel and poetics exploring how creative writing practice can be influenced by engaging in psychogeographic studies of landscapes containing nuclear power stations. The focus of this research is the Exclusion Zone surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in Ukraine and the landscape around Wylfa Nuclear Power Station in North Wales. The novel explores how embodied experience of landscapes containing nuclear power production affects emotional and behavioural responses in the characters. It is designed as a contiguous narrative between the two places, following one sister's journey to and through the Exclusion Zone, and the remaining sister's reevaluation of her response to nuclear power at home. This structure enables thematic links and comparisons between the contaminated and heavily restricted landscape that exists following the Chernobyl disaster, and the farming community around the still functional Wylfa. The poetics is an autoethnographic study examining how my own relationship with nuclear landscapes informs my creative actions. In Part One I consider Guy Debord's definition of psychogeography alongside Eudora Welty's essay on place in fiction in relation to my writing processes. Examination of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's theories of embodied perception, and the writing of Robert Macfarlane, identifies how landscape is read physically and sensually, as well as visually, and how this informs my methodology. Part Two provides a detailed investigation of my psychogeographic practice within the landscapes of Wylfa and Chernobyl, with specific focus on those aspects of the novel that were influenced by this practice. In applying Debord's critique of 'the Spectacle' to the Exclusion Zone I discuss how engaging in dérives - drifts through multiple ambient spaces - facilitated the gathering of embodied knowledge for the novel. This thesis analyses the ways in which landscape forms identity as much as identity informs perceptions of landscapes, and how this symbiosis shapes the narrative and characters in Borderlands. It exemplifies how psychogeography can be applied to rural irradiated spaces to form new understandings of emotional and behavioural responses to nuclear power, and how this can inform creative actions.
Supervisor: Glass, Roger ; Byrne, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: creative writing ; nuclear ; Chernobyl ; Wylfa ; Autoethnography ; Psychogeography ; Novel ; Debord ; Wales ; Poetics