• The intaglio element in Prince's verse

      Farmer, Gareth (Liverpool University Press, 2017-01-23)
      There is something peculiar about the syntax of Prince’s verse. Which adjectives come close to describing the curious, entangled emotions elicited when reading the lines from Prince’s most famous poem ‘Soldiers Bathing’: ‘And my mind towards the meaning of it strives // All’s pathos now. The body than was gross […] by pain and labour grows at length / Fragile and luminous’? How would we describe the quiet, reserved restraint of ‘Guns, gallows, barracks, poles and bars; / Seem to have laboured but to fetch us love’ from ‘The Book’? In this paper I propose that Prince’s syntax in the poems of Soldiers Bathing is a product of multiple pressures mirroring those he outlines in his intriguing The Italian Element in Milton’s Verse. It is just such pressures, I suggest, that enable him to carve out and maintain the co-presence of both conceptual and affective contradictions – entangled and uncertain ideas – which are the primary subject of these poems and which give his verse its peculiar quality.    
    • Introduction

      Darwood, Nicola; Turner, Nick (The Elizabeth Bowen Society, 2018-06-22)
      An introduction to the first volume of The Elizabeth Bowen Review (2018)
    • Laughter and dying: Stella Benson's Hope against hope and other stories, and Tobit transplanted

      Darwood, Nicola (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020-01-29)
      The novels and short stories of Stella Benson (1982-1933) cover a wide range of issues including suffrage, the morality of war and the rights of women through a mixture of realism, fantasy and satire.  Drawing on a range of twentieth and twenty first century theoretical approaches relating to humour and satire this essay considers Benson’s use of humour and satire in her collection of short stories Hope Against Hope and Other Stories (1931) and Tobit Transplanted (1931). Throughout both texts, Benson explores human frailties, inviting the reader to view her characters with an ironic detachment.  This essay argues that this use of comedy highlights the tension between humour and subject matter, and provides an insight into both her life and 1930s society.
    • ‘Sparks in everything’ or ‘A tearful overnight understanding’: posthuman becoming in the Empty Space trilogy

      Jarvis, Timothy (Gylphi, 2019-03-12)
      This chapter argues that the works of M. John Harrison's Kefahuchi Tract trilogy, comprising, Light, Nova Swing, and Empty Space, offer affective maps of the posthuman terrain. Exploring the novels' allusions to the work of Deleuze and Guattari, and to Gnostic cosmonogy, this chapter explores the picture the works offer of a becoming posthuman.
    • Stella Benson: a life of reading, writing and publishing

      Darwood, Nicola (2016-07-07)
      Stella Benson – feminist, diarist, novelist and travel writer – published her first novel, I Pose, in 1915.  Her last book, a collection of short stories, was published posthumously in 1936.  Although her diaries might suggest some reservations about the reception of her earlier novels, in a letter to Marie Belloc Lowndes, Benson’s husband James O’Gorman Anderson said of her work: ‘Stella was quite happy about her writing, was sure of herself there, and had no thought of not being sufficiently appreciated.’  Others shared that opinion; for example, her 1932 novel Tobit Transplanted (titled The Far-Away Bride in America) won the Femina-Vie Heureuse Prize and the silver medal of the Royal Society of Literature. Benson’s writing was informed by her reading; she was an avid reader throughout her life and talked at length in her diaries about books that she enjoyed.  She often read a book in a day and it is evident from her diaries that she was always keen to read contemporary, Modernist and avant-garde poets and authors such Sturge Moore, Dorothy Richardson and Ford Maddox Ford (reading, for example, The Good Soldier in just one day on 3rd January 1918).  Her diaries, for the most part unpublished, provide a rich source of material, detailing both her reading and her writing.  Drawing extensively on those diaries, this paper discusses the connections between Benson’s reading, her writing and the subsequent publication of her early novels. It will explore her relationship with her publishers and will also, as a postscript, consider the role of the recent republication of her fiction by Michael Walmer in a possible reclamation and re-examination of Benson’s work in the twenty first century. 
    • Veronica Forrest-Thomson: poet on the periphery

      Farmer, Gareth (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017-10-11)
      This study offers a comprehensive examination of the work of the young poet and scholar, Veronica Forrest-Thomson (1947-1975) in the context of a literary-critical revolution of the late sixties and seventies and evaluates her work against contemporary debates in poetry and poetics. Gareth Farmer explores Forrest-Thomson’s relationship to the conflicting models of literary criticism in the twentieth century such as the close-reading models of F.R Leavis and William Empson, postructuralist models, and the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein.  Written by the leading scholar on Forrest-Thomson’s work, this study explores Forrest-Thomson’s published work as well as unpublished materials from the Veronica Forrest-Thomson Archive. Drawing on close readings of Forrest-Thomson’s writings, this study argues that her work enables us reevaluate literary-critical history and suggests new paradigms for the literary aesthetics and poetics of the future.
    • ‘The violent destruction of solid things’: Elizabeth Bowen’s wartime short stories

      Darwood, Nicola (2016-07-05)
      Elizabeth Bowen’s introduction to the American edition of The Demon Lover and Other Stories (1944) explores the feeling of ‘lucid abnormality’felt by many during the Second World War; in this collection of short stories, Bowen offers a portrayal of London life when ‘[t]he violent destruction of solid things, the explosion of the illusion that prestige, power and permanence attach to bulk and weight, left all of us, equally, heady and disembodied. This paper focuses on three specific stories from the collection; these stories – ‘The Inherited Clock’ (where time is literally stopped), ‘The Demon Lover’ and ‘Happy Autumn Fields’ – demonstrate Bowen’s own fascination with temporal discombobulations, depicting in the latter two stories the ‘destruction of solid things’ where time is no longer fixed and where ghosts from the past displace time in order to appear in the present.  Drawing on these stories, this paper discusses Benson’s use of temporal disturbances in her wartime Gothic stories to explore the fears of many in London who did not know ‘who the dead were’ and for whom ‘the destruction of solid things’ leads to a ‘rising tide of hallucination' for those struggling to live in a world torn apart by war.
    • ‘[W]hat a small gift it was’ : Stella Benson and I Pose (1915)

      Darwood, Nicola (2017-07-07)
      Highlighting my own pedagogical approach to undergraduate and postgraduate research in which archival work, historical enquiry and close textual analysis are given equal weight, this paper draws extensively on Benson’s unpublished diaries and correspondence, exploring both Benson’s own engagement with the campaign for votes for women and her portrayal of that campaign in I Pose (1915) in which the protagonist spends her life  ‘exploring the adoption of new poses in a world where the old stereotypes no longer work’.
    • The weird, the posthuman, and the abjected world-in-itself : fidelity to the ‘Lovecraft event’ in the work of Caitlín R. Kiernan and Laird Barron

      Jarvis, Timothy (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2017-07-31)
      Caitlín R. Kiernan and Laird Barron are acclaimed and influential writers of the early twenty-first century resurgence of weird fiction. But a common critical response to their writing is that they have achieved their powerful effects only by transcending the influence of the work of H. P. Lovecraft. This article argues that, while it is important to move past Lovecraft’s often regressive stance, to inherit topoi from him is not necessarily to take on the more negative aspects of his personal ideology. Although his ideology was reactionary, aspects of his poetics were radical and progressive. In fact, he himself derived many of his tropes from earlier writers whose worldviews differed radically from his – the topoi were not formed by his ideology. Kiernan and Barron have used these topoi to address contemporary concerns in a progressive manner maintaining fidelity to what Benjamin Noys has called the ‘Lovecraft event’, while breaking with his reactionary attitudes.