Lopoukhine, Juliana (2011) The poetics and politics of urban spaces: sexual difference under pressure in British women's fiction 1910-1930: Rose Macaulay, Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf & Jean Rhys. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

From 1910 to 1930, and in the aftermath of the First World War, history and politics were focused on the city. The city crystallised what was at once a temporal crisis and a period rich in potential. It was, at the same time, a laboratory for a new Modernist aesthetics in literature and the stage on which women at last arrived. The writings of Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Katherine Mansfield and Rose Macaulay take on the historical and socio-political determinations that, for women, structured urban space like a grid. The subjectivities of their female characters constitute positions which allow a critical reading both to create and unravel spatial configurations determined by the modalities of power. They start the work of resistance that promises to unhinge the spatial and political grids of power. The difficulty the female voice has in finding a place to be heard generates a force that shatters the bonds of community and temporal structures. Space relinquishes its role in the construction of plot so that conventional forms of time and narrative dissolve in the face of a new poetics. From the point of view of this poetics of paradox, the city is recreated subjectively. New images carve out a new city, without precedent, made from fleeting, ephemeral experiences. A new poetics taken in the etymological sense of making, poiein, is created on the thresholds of space, time and language. The power of figurative language to break through convention that is at work in these writings of the city clears the path for the Modernist moment to erupt and create new potentialities in time, through the power of the imaginary that is always part of language's possibilities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: city, First World War, Modernism, myth, poetics, power, politics, women.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Contributors: Delourme, Chantal (Thesis advisor)
McCracken, Scott (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2022 13:47
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2022 13:47
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/11280

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