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«Of What is Past, or Passing, or to Come»

Travelling in Time and Space in Literature in English

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Edited By Liliana Sikorska

This volume, entitled Of what is past, or passing, or to come: Travelling in Time and Space in Literature in English was inspired by the work of the writer, culture historian and mythographer Marina Warner and the professor of comparative literature Cathy Caruth. The lines quoted above are from W.B. Yeats’ Sailing to Byzantium, which are recalled by one of the characters in Marina Warner’s novel In a Dark Wood (1977). The articles included in this volume are devoted to the explorations of individual space and landscape of the mind through analyzing trauma and addressing psychological wounds, and to travels into fairy tales, oriental scenery real and imaginary as well as interrelationships between memory and fiction in non-fictional and fictional discourses.
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Self-fashioning as an identity-shaping process in Marina Warner’s Indigo and William Shakespeare’s The tempest: Katarzyna Burzynska, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan

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Katarzyna Burzyńska, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań

ABSTRACT

Marina Warner’s novel Indigo or mapping the waters is one of the most critically-acclaimed responses to Shakespeare’s The tempest. So far the re-visions of the canonical Shakespearean text have predominantly focused on the character of Caliban and his turbulent relationship with Prospero. Marina Warner’s novel, however, brings a radical change as it mainly revolves around the female characters of Sycorax, Ariel and Miranda. The aim of this paper is to focus on these female figures, who are marginalised in Shakespeare’s play but who emerge as fully-fledged characters in the novel. In order to analyse the ways in which Warner shapes the identities of her heroines I would like to refer to the classic concept of self-fashioning, as proposed by Stephen Greenblatt in his Renaissance self-fashioning – From More to Shakespeare. Although Greenblatt’s theory underscores the culture-bound mechanisms behind the shaping of social and literary identities in the English Renaissance, it might also prove an effective methodological framework in the analysis of Warner’s heroines (Greenblatt 1980: 6-7). This paper will be an attempt to look at the ways in which Warner’s female characters define themselves against “the alien” in the form of brutal colonisation or its remnants in the twentieth century.

Indigo or, mapping the waters1 by Marina Warner is a multi-faceted, multilayered and multi-directional novelistic tour de force, taking up pending issues crucial for literary, historical and cultural studies. By rewriting a canonical Shakespearean text, the novel...

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