Marion Wynne-Davies’s chapter quotes ‘Heaven was too long a reach for man to recover at one step and therefore God first placed him upon the earth’. Maps, and the roads they depicted, were therefore not only useful for navigation on earth, but also a guide on the spiritual road to ‘heaven’. This chapter considers Margaret Cavendish’s fictional accounts of road travel which are derived not from scientific exploration or a quest for spiritual truth, but from political necessity and harsh personal experience. Wynne-Davies argues that in order to understand the roads and journeys of Cavendish’s ‘blazing world’, it becomes necessary to consider her material experience of space in both its political and personal evocations. The Duchess’s fantastical narrative alludes to a host of material journeys: William Barentsz’s attempt to discover a North East passage; the protective delta of Antwerp; and the journeys to London and to Welbeck Abbey. The final confluence of the worlds occurs on the road through Nottinghamshire, as the Empress and the Duchess – in spirit form – fly above what is the A60 today. While Speed claims that ‘Heaven was too long a reach’, Cavendish’s ‘blazing world’ both challenges and undermines any certainty, political, spiritual or gendered, on the roads of early modern Britain.
These are broad and expansive themes and so what we wish to do is to provide a perhaps dramatic case study example of state engagement with the arts for political and security purposes. Our critical case is that of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) engagement with the arts during the Cold War and newly uncovered archival evidence of the CIA involvement with the writers’ organisation which is still thriving today, International PEN. Our argument is that the state security engagement with the arts and literature is an important exemplar of what we term the influence of public education by often covert means, which may derogatively be referred to as propaganda, or what Jameson called the ‘political unconscious’. From the archival evidence arising from CIA engagement with the arts we derive three principles of intellectual framing for analysis of the critical aesthetic of philosophy of education: (1) the political aesthetic of security and literature; (2) cultural citizenship as security; (3) the educational ecosystem of literature as securitisation. In sum, we suggest philosophers of education sharpen their treatments of literature in education with more realistic and informed assessments of the aesthetic in political and security contexts. Methodologically, by implication, we think we also make the case for philosophers of education to make greater and more frequent use of primary documentation, particularly archival sources in order to be able to substantiate such sharpened treatments.
What happens in a writer’s head before the writing begins and while the writing is taking place? What are the internal processes involved in the thinking up and writing down of imaginative fiction? Cognitive science offers explanations based on scientific observation and measurement that are imminently rational, logical and readily depicted in neatly ordered models. However, none adequately reflect the descriptions contained in writers’ accounts of their lived experience of the creative writing process. These experiential and phenomenological accounts depict a complex, multi-layered process, that is often chaotic, uncertain and unpredictable; the descriptions peppered with references to non-cognitive factors such as intuition, inspiration, felt sense, incubation and the imagination. The two approaches, positivist and phenomenological, express themselves in different languages and thus seldom speak to each other. This thesis seeks to address this gap by facilitating a bridge between them. It proposes a neurophenomenological model of the creative writing process that allows lived experience to sit comfortably alongside contemporary neurobiological research findings, so that each enriches and informs the other. The model, therefore, provides a clear, systemic account of the creative writing process that embraces both its cognitive and non-cognitive aspects within a single, coherent framework that combines third-hand objective research with first-hand subjective accounts of lived experience, thereby yielding deeper insights into, and fresh conceptualisations of, the creative writing process. It thus constitutes an original contribution to the discourse on Creative Writing as a field of study that also has the potential to impact the discourse in a range of related disciplines, such as the visual and performing arts, cognitive science, cognitive psychology, philosophy, phenomenology and neuroscience. The greatest impact of this contribution, however, lies in the scope it provides for cross-disciplinary conversations, particularly those that bridge the long-standing gap between the science and the arts.
The translation and publication process of foreign literary works and particularly of children’s literature in Russia has been through various changes and reforms following the socio-political shifts that occurred in different periods of Russian history. This thesis examines three Russian translations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland published before, during and after the Soviet Era. This periodisation is essential, as the main research question of the thesis is how the shifting socio-political circumstances and ideologies governing Russia in each of the three periods examined affected the translation of children’s literature. The study focuses on power and authority references, which are frequently identified in the book, as the creatures of Wonderland constantly insult and terrify Alice in their attempt to seize power. Through these examples and drawing on Even-Zohar’s polysystem theory, Toury’s concept of norms and House’s model of translation quality assessment, this thesis also answers questions as to how the norms prevailing in the source culture are transferred to the target culture, as well as what translation strategies are used by the Russian translators of Alice Adventures in Wonderland in each of the periods examined. Since the study takes place in a Russian context, references to censorship in translation and publication of children’s literature are inevitable, as previous research has demonstrated that publications were under state control, particularly during the Soviet years. Therefore, the translations used here as observational material, are also examined for any potential censorship effect. Despite the fact that the same examples are examined in all three translations, the result and the translators’ choices, differ to a great extent. The pre-Soviet translation has many deletions, related particularly to the violent scenes of the book. The Soviet translation is a literal rendering of Carroll’s original story. Finally, the post-Soviet translation is a creative work, which contains many additions that bring the story closer to the mentality and understanding of the Russian readership.
A widely used narrative form in medieval literature is the framed story-collection, where an external narrative frames a collection of interpolated tales. This practice-based PhD in Creative Writing addresses the absence of the medieval framed story-collection structure in modern literature through creative practice and critical enquiry. The project is comprised of two parts: the creative artefact, for which I have written a novel of roughly 100,000 words, and the accompanying critical exegesis of 30,000 words. By considering Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales as a stylistic and structural model, I argue for the medieval framed story-collection structure’s continued relevance in contemporary fiction by demonstrating its potential for reinvention in the form of a modern novel. This thesis presents a methodological framework that can be practically applied to creative writing, consisting of six essential components to consider when modernising the medieval form: the frame, the tellers, the tales, dramatic interplay, stylistic variety, and themes. In my creative component, The Mindsweeper Tales, I demonstrate the application of these components by reinventing Chaucer’s pilgrimage in the form of a murder trial at the Old Bailey during the year 2030, in which the jurors become the narrators of the interpolated story collection. Further to this, I modernise Chaucer’s stylistic variety by engaging alternative narrative forms beyond traditional prose, such as Surrealist text collage and poetic interludes. Finally, I address the importance of socio-political themes in both Chaucer’s work and my own, demonstrating how the stylistic variety can be manipulated to represent the concerns of modern culture. This critical exegesis examines these Chaucerian elements alongside my creative piece to demonstrate how they have been reconceptualised in the form of a modern novel.
Creative: The Garden of Perfect Brightness Set in 1700s China, at the court of the Qing dynasty, this historical novel focuses on the life of Giuseppe Castiglione, a painter recruited by the Jesuits to serve in their Mission in Beijing. As Castiglione struggles artistically in an unfamiliar culture, he finds himself drawn to Niuhuru, concubine to a prince and mother to a future emperor, who lives in the Yuan Ming Yuan, the Garden of Perfect Brightness, a country estate. Told in alternate chapters, the novel follows the relationship between the two and the changes made to the Garden. Castiglione is tasked with being the architect who will turn the simple country retreat into an imperial wonderland as Niuhuru sees her home turn into a place she no longer recognises. Critical: Playing in the Garden of Perfect Brightness David Harlan asks why reviewers of historical novels ‘almost never (venture) beyond the most obvious questions of factual accuracy.’ In this thesis I propose that historical fiction can be seen as a ‘playframe’, an idea transposed from Jackson and Kidd’s work in heritage performance (e.g. setting a play about slavery within a museum on the topic), where the framework of a historical setting and the playful exploration of a fictional element combine to create what author Hannah Kent calls ‘work(s) of possibility,’ resulting in strong audience/reader engagement. I propose the word playframe as a hybrid concept for a hybrid genre. Using the framework of history, the fictional element of the narrative can then be seen as a playful engagement with the past, whereby an author pursues their own concept or vision. Rather than exclusively focusing on factual accuracy, I suggest that we should also pay attention to what an author has chosen to ‘play’ with, rather than potentially dismissing the fictional element as a historically inaccurate intrusion. I have identified three types of authors and named them the Ventriloquist, the Mosaic-Maker and the Magician, for their different approaches to playing with the past. Whatever their choice, my argument is the same: in choosing to write or read a novel in this hybrid genre rather than, say, a textbook of history, the experience should be one of playful engagement and exploration rather than exclusively interrogating for accuracy. ‘The museum does not have all the answers. The museum plays a potentially far more important role… it has questions,’ suggests Bradburne. I would argue that the same is true of historical fiction, and that we should value and explore the fictional element as well as the historical in this hybrid genre.
M Wynne-Davies (2012)Ophelia's Ghost, In: Alicante Journal of English Studies/Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses25pp. 151-166
Departamento de Filología Inglesa de la Universidad de Alicante
This essay takes as its starting point the 2008 Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet directed by Greg Doran in order to explore the ways in which Ophelia’s death and burial might be used to disturb dominant cultural codes. As such, it focuses upon the regulatory discourses framing three female subjects: the legal and religious rules governing suicide, in particular the inquest’s record of the death by drowning of Katherine Hamlet in 1579; the account of Ophelia’s death and her “maimed rites” in the Gravedigger’s scene; and the performance of Mariah Gale in the “mad scene.” In each case the female body is be perceived to breach expected boundaries: the way in which the real girl’s death presents a series of questions about the temporal and spiritual laws; the engagement of the play with those legal and religious discourses by locating the female character as a disturbing absence; and the use of the actress’ body in order to reiterate in performance the sense of threat encountered in the text. In so doing the employs the theories of the abject and the uncanny as discussed by Judith Butler and Julia Kristeva in order to locate where the text’s distorted repetitions uncover the tenuousness of the cultural codes used to regulate the Early Modern understanding of female suicide.
Over the last twenty five years, scholarship on Early Modern women writers has produced editions and criticisms, both on various groups and individual authors. The work on Mary Wroth has been particularly impressive at integrating her poetry, prose and drama into the canon. This in turn has led to comparative studies that link Wroth to a number of male and female writers, including of course, William Shakespeare. At the same time no single volume has attempted a comprehensive comparative analysis. This book sets out to explore the ways in which Wroth negotiated the discourses that are embedded in the Shakespearean canon in order to develop an understanding of her oeuvre based, not on influence and imitation, but on difference, originality and innovation.
It is possible to conceal oneself either in a cave or under a mantle. This chapter takes as its starting point two such images: the cave in relation to Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene and A View of the Present State of Ireland, and the mantle with regard to Elizabeth Cary in her own work, The History of the Life, Reign, and Death of Edward II [...] written by E.F. in the year 1627 and in the biography written by her daughter, Lucy Cary, The Lady Falkand: Her Life. In each case, the initial trope Is used in order to discuss both the personal and political implications for the writers in terms of race, nationhood, and faith. The following, more detailed analyses of the texts, however, serve to challenge seemingly clear interpretations by uncovering what is concealed under and behind convetional discourse, leading to an understanding of ho gender impacted Spenser's and Cary's engagement with early modern English colonialist policy in Ireland.
This work is a volume of plays and documents, demonstrating the wide range of theatrical activity in which women were involved during the Renaissance period.
This is a new series which has grown out of exciting developments in higher education.
This collection is the first book-length study of the writings and influence ofElizabeth Cary, author of the first original play by a woman to be printed in ...
Focusing on issues from the contemporary critical reaction to women's drama and theauthorship and performance histories of the plays to the longstanding and ...
Analyses memorialisation in Sidney Herbert's poetry and Wroth's play, 'Love's Victory'
The author introduces articles in the symposium "Women and Theater" in "Medieval and Renaissance Drama," describing the primary types of women who attended the theater in early modern England and how they were represented on stage. Orange-women and others sold their wares to audiences. Mary Frith dressed as a man, moved among the audiences, and was represented in Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton's "The Roaring Girl." Female spectators were represented to be attending to experience illicit sexual encounters, as well as other reasons besides actually seeing the play. The convergence seems to lie in the middle and lower class status of all the women represented.
M Wynne-Davies (2004)Alice Sutcliffe, In: The New Dictionary of National Biography
This edition also includes a line-by-line gloss and historical introduction.
Focusing on issues from the contemporary critical reaction to women's drama and the authorship and performance histories of the plays to the longstanding and ...
Offers ten essays representing various ways of interpreting Shakespeare's plays"Much Ado About Nothing" and "The Taming of the Shrew."
M Wynne-Davies (2010)The Theater, In: The History of British Women's Writing, 1500-16102pp. 175-198
Traces the History of women's dramatic writing between 1500 and 1610 based upon teh ways in which women accessed unusual spaces in order to evade teh prohibition against writing for the public stage
This collection of essays presents a variety of new approaches to the oeuvre of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, one of the most influential and ...
Groundbreaking collection of specially commissioned essays in which the ethnic literatures of North America are added to the developing postcolonial canon.
This is a comprehensive account of writing by women from the Middle Ages to the present day.
This essay uses the history of the building and garden at Nonsuch in order to argue that Jane Lumley's play was written with performance in mind, even if no such enactment took place.
In 1991 I applied for a lectureship at one of the UK’s leading universities; during the interview I was asked, by a staunch feminist critic, to name the Englishwomen dramatists from the Early Modern period. Before I could reply, she hastily corrected herself, ‘Oh, but of course there aren’t any, are there,’ choosing instead to ask about Early Modern women poets. Had I thought out an answer, I would have referred to two women, Elizabeth Cary and Mary Sidney, both of whose dramatic works had already been published.1 Still, I was forced to reconsider: the question had been well-intentioned and the questioner’s afterthought arose, not from a lack of commitment to women’s writing, but from the almost total lack of existing printed material – editorial and critical – devoted to Early Modern women dramatists. It was this throwaway comment that fuelled my own interest and led me to trace plays by sixteenth and seventeenth century Englishwomen, culminating in the collection, Renaissance Drama by Women: Texts and Documents (1996) that I edited with S.P.Cerasano.2 This essay sets out to follow some of that editorial and critical history, building upon the strengths of previous scholarship in order to suggest possible initiatives for the present and future. The study is divided into four sections: the first offers an overview of who the Early Modern women dramatists were and what they wrote; the second focuses on the availability of primary material and criticism; and the third looks at the perennial question of performance and performability. The fourth section consists of three ‘case studies’ that focus upon thematic issues raised in the previous sections: Innovation: Elizabeth Cary’s Edward II; Performability: Margaret Cavendish’s The Sociable Companions; and Continuity; Frances Boothby’s Marcelia. Through this discursive process I intend to locate and highlight areas where new perspectives are being, and need to be, generated. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, I didn’t get the job.
A discussion of how Hero is memorialised in the play with specific reference to the funeral scene and the choice of Delhi as a setting.
This essay sets out to explore the ways in which Margaret Cavendish, in particular, engaged with contemporary legal discourse in order to expose earlier patriarchal prejudices. Initially, however, it is essential to describe briefly the history of rape legislature in order to understand how this double identity – force and theft – developed.
This essay explores the changes undertaken by the Dundee Repertory Company on their production of The Winter's Tale, when they performed the play at Fajr International Drama Festival in Tehran. The essay begins with an account of the 2001 presentation in Dundee, focussing upon the way in which the director, Dominic Hill, interpreted the play to emphasise comic exuberance and female autonomy. The second part explores the necessary decisions made by Hill and the cast to ensure that the play could be performed in Tehran, alterations that undercut the earlier focus upon humour and women's roles in society. The paper concludes with an interrogation of how political and artistic discourses are inextricably bound together in twenty-first century theatre.
Liam Bell, Amanda Finella and Marion Wynne Davies
Mary Stewart's Arthurian novels are some of the most enjoyed twentieth-century versions of the legends.She is one of the most important women writers to address herself to the stories of Arthur.
This book traces Atwood’s development from the publication of The Circle Game in 1966 to her most recent work, The Door (2007) noting that each phase of writing demonstrated both a commitment to, and interrogation of, specific themes. These textual focus points were, however, shown to defy neat classifications in terms of chronology and genre, since Atwood returns to, intertwines and alters perceptions of issues such as, nation, gender, politics, myth, chronology, geographical space, ecological ethics and authorial identity.
This book explores the network of social, political and spiritual connections in north west England during Shakespeare's formative years.
This thesis fills a gap in knowledge by systematically identifying ways in which Julian of Norwich’s 'Revelations of Love' and William Langland’s 'Piers Plowman' were influenced by the biblical Apocalypse and exegetical writings. It considers the implications of areas of confluence such as spiritual warfare and other salient thematic elements of the Apocalypse which both writers reapply and emphasise. It contends that the exegetical approach to the Apocalypse is more extensive in Julian’s 'Revelations' and more sophisticated in 'Piers Plowman' than previously thought, whether through primary or secondary textual influences. The thesis explores concepts of authority and medieval interpretations of the Apocalypse within the orthodoxy versus heterodoxy debate. It considers Julian’s explications of her vision of the soul as city of Christ and all believers – the fulcrum of her eschatologically-focussed Aristotelian and Augustinian influenced pneumatology. It explores the liberal soteriology implicit in her Parable of the Lord and the Servant in its Johannine and Scotistic Christological emphasis, the Bernadine influenced concept of the Motherhood of God, the absent vision of hell, and the eschatological ‘grete dede’, vis-à-vis a possible critique of the prevalent hermeneutic. It contextualises Julian’s writing by considering contemporaneous Apocalypse-influenced women writers such as Marguerite Porete and Margery Kempe. The thesis argues that Langland transposes Apocalypse 1-17 onto fourteenth-century England as a loose template for his own apocalypse. It considers his poetics with reference to Bakhtinian theoretical concepts which Langland employs within nuanced re-applications of the Apocalypse. It explores the agrarian metaphor and apocalyptic imagery in the poem’s opening, and the innovative employment of the allegorical dream vision genre. In discussing Langland’s apocalyptic dreams’ openings and personifications it highlights his re-imaginings of sections of the Apocalypse, arguing that the didactic oraculum of his personification, Lady Holy Church, bears similarities with Apocalypse 2-3. It reconsiders Lady Meed as Whore of Babylon and Langland’s evocation of the Antichristus Mysticus comparable to the perceived threat to the nascent Christian community in the Apocalypse. Key Words: Apocalypse; Mikhail Bakhtin; Christ; eschatology; harrowing of hell; Joachite; Julian of Norwich; William Langland; Piers Plowman; Revelations of Love; spiritual warfare