• 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.
    • Languishing in 'rent-a-Marx/Margaret rhetoric': the phono-politics of Douglas Oliver's The Infant and the Pearl

      Farmer, Gareth; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2019-06-21)
      In The Infant and the Pearl (1985), the poet Douglas Oliver draws on the alliterative and allegorical features of mediaeval verse to create a dream-like satire of Britain under Margaret Thatcher. Once a central feature of most Old English poetry, since Chaucer, alliteration and rhyme have often been used in the service of parody and satire. But, how do complex sound-structures aid satire and generate political content? Drawing on Oliver’s poetic and critical work, as well as contemporary research into prosody and politics, this article argues that the sound patterning in The Infant and the Pearl creates a caricatured version of Thatcher’s ‘politically unsound’ Britain. Oliver uses sonic patterns to create an artificial parody of the bathetic ‘uncommon rhetoric’ of consumerism and the ‘false pearls’ of the political classes. Far from being an accessory to meaning, the sound structures are vehicles for parodying the operations of the rhetoric of the ‘unreal’ apparent in social and political discourse. Oliver envisages sound patterning – as performed with every private and public reading – as offering recalibrations of people’s experience of language and the world, as well as leading to glimpses of a communality beyond political and social division.
    • Diurnal Sweigh: 365 poems

      Farmer, Gareth (The Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2019-06-03)
      A collection of poems.
    • Pomes: incidental, uncollected poetry 2008-2013

      Farmer, Gareth (The Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2019-06-03)
      A selection of poems
    • “2 October is not forgotten”: Tlatelolco 1968 massacre and social memory frameworks

      Carpenter, Victoria (Peter Lang, 2019-05-17)
      The massacre of a student demonstration in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas, in the Tlatelolco district of Mexico City, on 2 October 1968, has been the subject of many debates, studies and literary works, whose aim is to keep the event alive in the collective memory and to tell ‘the truth’ about what happened that night. But is this aim achieved by any Tlatelolco discourse? Probably not. Nor, as I argue, is it necessary. What, then, is the function of the Tlatelolco discourses? Is it a matter of the state and popular discourses being at loggerheads in their respective claims to accuracy and ‘truth’? Or is it something else, led not by the search for truth, but by the need for emotional reconciliation? This essay is an in-depth case study of the narratives of the massacre from the perspective of the theory of posthegemony and Maurice Halbwachs’ studies of social memory frameworks. By focusing in such detail on the way the massacre is represented in the contemporary media, the essay determines how memory builds on narratives that emerge in the response to political violence in the modern media society. The most successful narratives are built on the emotions released immediately when the affect wave ‘crests’, so that those emotions are the strongest and the most relevant to the moment of affect and change of habit.
    • ‘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.
    • William Swan Sonnenschein

      Weedon, Alexis (MacFarland, 2018-10-31)
      This Companion to Victorian Popular fiction includes more than 300 cross-referenced entries on works written for the British mass market. Biographical sketches cover the writers and their publishers, the topics that concerned them and the genres they helped to establish or refine. Entries introduce readers to long-overlooked authors who were widely read in their time, with suggestions for further reading and emerging resources for the study of popular fiction.
    • Avant-folk: small press poetry networks from 1950 to the present

      Farmer, Gareth; University of Bedfordshire (2018-09-11)
    • The Tlatelolco Massacre, Mexico 1968, and the emotional triangle of anger, grief and shame: discourses of truth(s)

      Carpenter, Victoria (University of Wales Press, 2018-08-01)
      In the aftermath of major violent events that affect many, we seek to know the ‘truth’ of what happened. Whatever ‘truth’ emerges relies heavily on the extent to which any text about a given event can stir our emotions – whether such texts are official sources or the ‘voice of the people’, we are more inclined to believe them if their words make us feel angry, sad or ashamed. If they fail to stir emotion, however, we will often discount them even when the reported information is the same. Victoria Carpenter analyses texts by the Mexican government, media and populace published after the Tlatelolco massacre of 2 October 1968, demonstrating that there is no strict division between their accounts of what happened and that, in fact, different sides in the conflict used similar and sometimes the same images and language to rouse emotions in the reader.
    • The paradoxical pedagogy of creative writing

      Jarvis, Timothy; Pelletier, Caroline (Polity Press, 2018-06-27)
    • Introduction

      Darwood, Nicola; Turner, Nick (The Elizabeth Bowen Society, 2018-06-22)
      An introduction to the first volume of The Elizabeth Bowen Review (2018)
    • ‘Y el olor de la sangre manchaba el aire’: Tlatelolco 1521 and 1968 in José Emilio Pacheco’s ‘Lectura de los “Cantares Mexicanos”’

      Carpenter, Victoria; (Liverpool University Press, 2018-04-01)
      When Octavio Paz compared the Tlatelolco 1968 massacre to the conquest of the Aztec empire he created a foundation (and indeed, at times, the inspiration) for the view of the massacre as a symbol of a long-lasting internal conflict. This paper explores how the Tlatelolco 1968 poetry reflects (or appropriates) the 1521 texts. Are these texts used as extra metaphors of what happened in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas on 2 October, as links to the square’s infamous past, or is there a more enduring reason for the retelling of the story of the fall of Tenochtitlán? To answer these questions, I will examine four versions of José Emilio Pacheco’s poem ‘Lectura de los “Cantares Mexicanos”: Manuscrito de Tlatelolco (octubre 1968)’. The reading will be informed by the theory of habit (Bourdieu) and collective remembering and forgetting (Halbwachs and Bartlett).
    • 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 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.
    • ‘[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 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.    
    • 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.