Recent Submissions

  • Book review: Youth culture and the post-war novel: from teddy boys to Trainspotting

    Miles, Philip; (Lectito, 2023-08-10)
    Review of the book "Youth Culture and the Post-war Novel: From Teddy Boys to Trainspotting" by Ian Ross.
  • Book review: The inheritance of narrative and space: ‘Houses in Paris, Houses in Cork: Elizabeth Bowen and the Modernist Inheritance’ by Lauren Elkin in Late Modernism and Expatriation, edited by Lauren Arrington (Clemson University Press, 2022).

    Darwood, Nicola; University of Bedfordshire (Elizabeth Bowen Society, 2023-10-30)
    Review of ‘Houses in Paris, Houses in Cork: Elizabeth Bowen and the Modernist Inheritance’ by Lauren Elkin in Late Modernism and Expatriation, edited by Lauren Arrington (Clemson University Press, 2022).
  • Finding room and a place: G.B. Stern and the politics of the family house

    Weedon, Alexis; University of Bedfordshire (Edinburgh University Press, 2024-05-03)
    Through this essay I explore G.B. Stern’s depiction of place though the demarcation of boundaries within houses and neighbourhoods and vying claims to ownership. I reveal how distinctions formerly marked out by class and income were eroded in the twenties and thirties as lifestyle marketing usurped social aspiration in three English novels. Through her fiction Stern explores the politics of domestic space in the unravelling of a life in Bohemian city flats, or the precarious existence of dependents squeezed into an already-full family house. Her characters are the victim of back-biting in a boarding house or the stressed-out city-dweller seeking refuge in a thick-walled cottage lacking in conveniences. At a crisis in their lives her characters migrate to the home shires or to the sea-side, or run away on the GWR train to Cornwall, or, her favourite, take refuge in the south of France and Italy. She wrote about the effect of place on identity in her characters’ lives returning again and again to the same locations in her novels as she iteratively plays with their meaning. The move never solves the difficulties of the relationship, but like shaking a kaleidoscope it changes the pattern. Gladys Bronwen Stern (1890-1973) is little-known now but was a household name in her day. She was a prolific writer of novels and short stories for the burgeoning interwar story magazines and adapted fiction for the screen in the thirties and forties. In the fifties she appeared on the television review programme The Bookman. Her appearances at the first night of her own and her fellow writers’ plays were recorded in the picture newspapers and her whereabouts was the subject of comment by journalists. It was newsworthy when she stayed with the authors, W. Somerset Maugham, Rebecca West and Sheila Kaye-Smith and when her friends came to her Italian house. The papers reported when she passed through London on her business trips to America or took her holiday in Cornwall with playwright Noel Coward and published pictures of her at the Riviera with the actress Gertie Lawrence and her young pals.
  • Gamification and digital fiction

    Jarvis, Timothy; Weedon, Alexis; University of Bedfordshire (Cambridge University Press, 2024-05-03)
    The commonplace view that reading a book is a silent and solitary pastime, with the occasional listening audience, such as child having a bedtime story read to them, has been challenged during the 20th century as more interactive modes of reading have come to the fore. Rather than being the recipient of a morally improving and didactic story, child readers have come to be viewed as participants, their imaginations stirred and complicit with the storyteller, dictating the mode of telling and even the direction of the story. It is true that books with fold-outs, pockets, moveable characters, pop-ups, a range of textures and sounds, and games and puzzles have long been made for the children’s market. But the revolution in publishing technologies of the past thirty years as a result of digital convergence has made us even more aware of the prevalence of participatory practices in reading. To the haptic features of older interactive books, digital technologies have added balance and directionality, location, voice recording and recognition, and smart elements from mathematics to algorithms to game mechanics. But has not been a straightforward transition: material and digital forms of gamification in children’s fiction have evolved together as authors, publishers, and developers have capitalised on the affordances of technology. In this chapter we look at the shift from material to digital interaction in children’s books, and the history of branching narratives and development of interactive fiction (IF).
  • Introduction [volume 5]

    Darwood, Nicola; Turner, Nick (2023-05-01)
    Introduction to Volume Five of the Elizabeth Bowen Review
  • Damn the suit and the tailor who made it: power struggle between the narrator and the editor in Nuevas coplas y cantares del temible bardo Eudomóndaro Higuera alias el Tuerto

    Carpenter, Victoria; University of Bedfordshire (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023-08-03)
    The collection of poems by a supposedly long-dead Sinaloan poet Eudomóndaro Higuera (referred to in the study as ‘the Narrator’) Nuevas coplas y cantares del temible bardo Eudomóndaro Higuera alias el Tuerto, is an intriguing reading material. Compiled and annotated by Mario Bojórquez (who will be referred to as ‘the Editor’), it contains a strange mix of bawdy lyrics, insulting epitaphs, and soul-searching coded poems. The collection presents a challenge to the reader, who is forced to choose between the Narrator’s often simplistic writing and the Editor’s high academic analyses thereof. Using the theory of text ownership, I will analyse this contradictory combination to determine who – if anyone – controls the text of the collection. I will explore the roles of the narrator and the editor, taken up by both the Narrator and the Editor, in order to challenge the apparent parodic nature of the collection.
  • Crossing power borders in a tight leather suit: loci of power in A troche y moche by Gustavo Sainz

    Carpenter, Victoria (Asociación Canadiense de Hispanistas, 2023-04-20)
    This study considers how the fluidity of power loci, in terms of text ownership, replaces the static nature of hegemonic relationships between the protagonist and the characters in Gustavo Sainz’s novel A troche y moche (2002). The key aspect of this study of power loci and power border crossing is the analysis of the complexity of the dominance/subordination dichotomy. Using the theories of hegemonic masculinity and posthegemony, the essay examines the fluid nature of borders between the power loci of the writer-protagonist, his associates, and his kidnappers.
  • When a habit meets a habit at the city dump: persistence and adaptability of habit in Única mirando al mar (2010)

    Carpenter, Victoria; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford University Press, 2023-05-15)
    Fernando Contreras Castro’s novel Única mirando al mar (1993 and 2010) is a bitter, scathing social critique of Costa Rica’s government which occasionally remembers its duty to its tax payers and environment. Re-written in 2010 after the closure of Río Azul, a landfill near San José, it explores the way this action affected the population of the landfill, locally known as the buzos (scuba divers). The critiques of the novel address primarily the buzos’ resilience and the complexity of the relationship between the buzos’ society and the rest of the country. This study will consider the buzos’ society as a social order based on habit and trace its adaptability and persistence in face of multiple changes to the buzos’ life. To this end, I will use the theory of posthegemony with a particular focus on Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of habit and habitus to explore the adaptability and persistence of the buzos’ habitus as reflected in habitual practices, rituals, and ritual language. I will analyse the 2010 version of the novel, published after the closure of the landfill.
  • “Sometimes I pose, but sometimes I pose as posing”: Stella Benson’s early fiction

    Darwood, Nicola (Routledge, 2022-07-28)
    Stella Benson’s first three novels, I Pose (1915), This is the End (1917) and Living Alone (1919) can all be read as experimental texts, ones which utilize elements of realist fiction, fin de siècle proto-feminism, and responses to impending modernity. Benson’s novels offer an alternative, although arguably utopian, view of the future for women, proposing a world of equality where women can, without hindrance or social castigation, live independent lives and, if they so desire, seek their ‘soul’s remotest / And stillest place’ (I Pose xi). This chapter argues that, in her experimentation and subversions of those older forms, genres, and tropes, Benson writes texts which explore the issues of war, gender, and sexuality in a time which is filled with the horror of hearing “news that tortures in the telling” (Living Alone xi).
  • Afterword: ‘Oho, what next?…’ ~ Stella Benson: editor

    Darwood, Nicola; University of Bedfordshire (Boiler House Press, 2022-05-31)
    Pull Devil, Pull Baker, first published in 1933, is one of a series of 'forgotten texts' which are being republished by Boiler House Press. It is a text which weaves together the stories of the fantastical Count de Toulouse Lautrec de Savine with Stella Benson's interpolations and her own stories. In the third chapter of Pull Devil, Pull Baker, Benson questions her role in this book: ‘Sometimes, I wonder whether I am editing the Count de Savine or he me. What seems to me the extreme remoteness of his point of view makes me quite giddy' (46). The afterword explores Benson’s wit and generosity, but also her ability to experiment with form and genre. Her thoughts on being an editor are illuminating as she occasionally edits, but often reproduces verbatim, Count de Toulouse Lautrec de Savine’s accounts of his extraordinary and often outrageous escapades, escapades which might lead a reader to question that such a man existed and so this afterword discusses the stories told by the Count, and Benson's own role in bringing his stories to public attention.
  • Book review: Misreading Anita Brookner: aestheticism, intertextuality, and the queer nineteenth century

    Darwood, Nicola (2021-11-01)
    Review of Misreading Anita Brookner: Aestheticism, Intertextuality, and the Queer Nineteenth Century by Peta Mayer. Liverpool English Texts and Studies. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2020. 272 pp. $120.00 hardback.
  • Dancing in a hurricane: state and public responses to Hurricane Gilbert in Jamaica

    Carpenter, Victoria; ; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2022-02-28)
    Different cultural strata respond differently to a natural disaster threatening – or destroying – their livelihood; because of these responses, certain patterns become associated (justly or not) with the respective strata. In the wake of Hurricane Gilbert hitting Jamaica in 1988 and causing widespread destruction, several response patterns emerged from the state/government sector and general public. Responses varied from fear and despair to pride and humour; these responses were associated with a particular knowledge archive of the hurricane and its emotional effect on the island’s population and infrastructure. This study examines how hurricane Gilbert was described in the state and public discourses. We will begin with the statements by the government officials and newspaper coverage of the effects the hurricane had on the island immediately after the landfall and within the first three months of the aftermath. We will then proceed to the analysis of two songs written shortly after the hurricane – “Wild Gilbert” by Lloyd Lovindeer and “Gilbert Attack Us” by Bananaman – with the aim to determine whether the way these songs depict Gilbert is similar to that presented in the state discourse or whether there are significant variations between the two. We will focus in particular on the relationship between the knowledge archive of Gilbert hitting Jamaica and the emotions associated with it.
  • Reviews: (Re)constructing the life and loves of Elizabeth Bowen: The Shadowy Third: Love, Letters and Elizabeth Bowen by Julia Parry (Duckworth, 2021) and The Last Day at Bowen’s Court: A Novel by Eibhear Walshe (Bantry: Somerville Press, 2020).

    Darwood, Nicola; University of Bedfordshire (Elizabeth Bowen Society, 2021-11-01)
    Review of two books: (Re)constructing the life and loves of Elizabeth Bowen: The Shadowy Third: Love, Letters and Elizabeth Bowen by Julia Parry (Duckworth, 2021) and The Last Day at Bowen’s Court: A Novel by Eibhear Walshe (Bantry: Somerville Press, 2020)
  • Introduction

    Darwood, Nicola; Turner, Nick; University of Bedfordshire; Open University (Elizabeth Bowen Society, 2021-11-01)
    Introduction to volume 4
  • ‘A foreigner’s apprehension of a country at its most critical time’: Hugh Walpole in Russia in World War 1

    Poesio, Giannandrea; Weedon, Alexis; University of Bedfordshire (Hugh Walpole Society, 2021-02-19)
    Hugh Walpole travelled to the Eastern front as a volunteer for the Russian Red Cross. He stopped in Petrograd before joining his Otriad on a tour of duty near Lviv in the Ukraine in May 1915. After six months he returned to the UK to raise support for a British initiative to counteract German propaganda and in 1916 he went back to found the Anglo-Russian Bureau in Petrograd. During this time he kept a journal and wrote two novels about his Russian experience. Looking back, he reflected, ‘they are not bad books because as records of a foreigner’s apprehension of a country at its most critical time, they are true.’ (Walpole, 'The Crystal Box', The Bookman Feb. 1923 p. 688). From 1912 to 1916 he listed books he read on the verso pages of his journal and on the recto he listed the plays and operas with location and performers. It is a detailed record of an eclectic reader and theatre-goer. Later he published fragments of autobiography where he described how he fleetingly met Lenin and his official report on the early months of the revolution contains his eye-witness account of the demonstrations and the shots fired at him on the office balcony. From these sources we can see how his time in Russia influenced his taste and how closely he intertwined his experience of the theatre with his recall of the war.
  • An alternative afterlife: Plath’s experimental poetics

    Farmer, Gareth; Brain, Tracy; University of Bedfordshire; Bath Spa University (Cambridge University Press, 2019-08-01)
    Following Veronica Forrest-Thomson’s lead, Gareth Farmer repositions Plath’s work in experimental British, European and American lineages, testing the complexity of her ‘poetic artifice’ against Forrest-Thomson’s theory and offering ‘other’ intellectual and literary contexts of her work. Such contexts activate alternative questions for the poetry, such as the role and function of form in carrying epistemological and cognitive information, or the ways in which poetry offers a critique of lyric singularity, address and subjectivity. A more sustained concentration on Plath’s poetic artifice offers new intellectual contexts as well as alternative horizons for understanding the afterlife of her work.
  • Flying dangerously: Elizabeth Bowen’s To the North

    Darwood, Nicola (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020-12-01)
    In To the North Bowen draws on notions of restlessness, change and destruction in her desire to write about geographical place and, in so doing, clearly demonstrates her understanding of the technological advances of the age. The novel foregrounds ideas of travel – by train, car and aeroplane – as Bowen explores the world through her young protagonist, Emmeline Summers. Both the pleasure (that is, perhaps, the sense of curiosity identified by Gindin) and the inherent danger of travel are recurrent themes in To the North, echoing the Modernist desire for speed, but Bowen’s use of this motif can also be read as a metaphor for the destruction of the innocent individual in an increasingly corrupt and disconnected society where it can be more convenient to speak to others by means of a ‘speaking-tube’ (To the North 69) rather than communicating in person. This essay explores the notion of ‘flying dangerously’ in the novel, through Bowen’s representation of ‘airmindedness’ (TN 144), where travel proves to be dangerous (both morally and physically) and, ultimately, fatal on that final journey on the road ‘[t]o the North’. It focuses particularly on the role of Emmeline as a partner in the travel agency, an agency which ‘seemed to radiate speed’ (TN 144), and also provides a discussion which locates Emmeline’s work both in terms of the travel industry of the 1930s and her position as a female partner in an expanding business.
  • ‘A grand Christmas pantomime': Nancy Spain's Cinderella Goes to the Morgue

    Darwood, Nicola (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020-12-01)
    Exploring Nancy Spain’s appropriation of the fairy tale of Cinderella and its pantomime form, this essay traces both the antecedents of pantomime and the growing popularity of Cinderella as a pantomime; it considers the comedy that has its roots in the commedia dell’arte and French ‘night pieces’ and discusses how Spain draws on this tradition to recreate the world of pantomime in Cinderella Goes to the Morgue.
  • Works from the Cinderella Collection

    Weedon, Alexis (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020-12-01)
    A list of books forming part of the Cinderella collection in the Polhill campus library archive at the University of Bedfordshire
  • Introduction to Retelling Cinderella: Cultural and Creative Transformations

    Darwood, Nicola; Weedon, Alexis (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020-12-01)
    Introduction to the essays in the volume which reflect on material and cultural legacy of the tale of Cinderella and how it remains active and relevant in many different societies where social and family relationships are adapting to modern culture. Each essay is introduced to show how the retelling illustrates a continuing attraction in the duality of the story. The uplifting message of Cinderella still sells an increasingly problematic conformity to traditional womanhood by persuading you to buy comfort, aspire to be a domestic goddess or reaffirm the myth of a ‘happy ever after’. But it’s also evident that she can also be the symbol for suffrage, for equality and empowerment. Her story will continue to be reused, reappropriated, and refashioned in a way that continues to highlight changing societal mores and ideologies: always fascinating, for ever changing.

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