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Constructing Identity in the Poetry of Tony Harrison

Revised and Expanded Edition

by Agata Handley (Author)
Monographs 208 Pages

Summary

When, in 1948, Tony Harrison entered Leeds Grammar School as a scholarship boy, he found himself, as Richard Hoggart saw, “at the friction point of two cultures”. His schooling introduced him to the “classics”; but it also deprived him of a clear identification with the place where he grew up. His work reflects and explores this tension; and it may be seen, in some ways, as a form of “identity construction.”
The book examines key texts such as v. and the School of Eloquence sequence, where this “construction” takes different forms—oscillating between identity as a state, or a process; as continuity, or change; or as the outcome of conformity, or revolt.
This second edition has been extensively revised and includes a new chapter on Harrison’s Elegies.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Dedication
  • Table of Contents
  • INTRODUCTION: “The Whole View North”
  • A “scholarship boy”
  • Identity issues
  • The “mutable self”
  • 1. Identity—state or process
  • 2. Identity—continuity and/or Otherness
  • 3. Identity—a consequence of conformism or revolt
  • CHAPTER ONE “Correct your Maps: Newcastle is Peru”: Continuity of exploration and exploitation in The Loiners
  • “Négritude”
  • The fragmented body
  • Memory
  • Identity and kinship
  • “Westerners”
  • “Nothingness”
  • “Nuptial Torches”
  • Periphery and centre
  • CHAPTER TWO “Wherever did you get your talent from?”:: Continuity of Poetic Heritage in The School of Eloquence
  • The crisis of belonging
  • The suppression of working-class speech
  • The struggle for language
  • The constraint of form
  • “On Not Being Milton”
  • Ambivalent heroes
  • The poles of identity
  • “Barbarians”
  • CHAPTER THREE “The still too living dead”: Continuity of Mourning in Selected Elegies from The School of Eloquence
  • Trauerarbeit
  • The figuration of loss
  • The question of inheritance
  • CHAPTER FOUR “Hawthorns Laden with Red Berries”: Evocative Objects in Harrison’s Elegies152
  • CHAPTER FIVE “Half versus half, the enemies within”: Changing Patterns of Revolt in v.
  • The mining community as collective protagonist
  • “The Legacy of Mining”
  • Graveyard and pit
  • Gray’s “Elegy”
  • Language as a site of struggle
  • The “Pygmalion” syndrome
  • CHAPTER SIX “This frightening mask”: The Continuity of the Poetic Gaze in Selected War Poems
  • “The sun of poetry is set”
  • The “gaze” of the camera
  • The “complete witness”
  • Prosopopeia
  • “Cornet and Cartridge”
  • Memory
  • CONCLUSION: “How have you been useful for the polis?”
  • BIBLIOGRAPHY
  • Index of Names
  • Series index

INTRODUCTION

“The Whole View North”

In the poem “Facing North”, Tony Harrison describes “the act of poetic composition” as a “luminous O of . . . light, itself illuminating” (Byrne 1998: 177) darkness.

Details

Pages
208
ISBN (PDF)
9783631855287
ISBN (ePUB)
9783631855294
ISBN (MOBI)
9783631855300
ISBN (Hardcover)
9783631837450
Language
English
Publication date
2021 (July)
Tags
BRITISH POETRY CONTEMPORARY POETRY ELEGY ENGLISH NORTH WORKING-CLASS CULTURE MEMORY
Published
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2021. 208 pp.

Biographical notes

Agata Handley (Author)

Agata Handley works as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Lodz, Poland. Her main areas of academic interest are contemporary British poetry, with a special focus on the representation of memory; and on intermedial issues. Her current research looks at the use of ekphrasis in contemporary Anglophone literature.

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Title: Constructing Identity in the Poetry of Tony Harrison