• Literature: history & criticism
      October 2018

      The Algerian War in French/Algerian Writing

      Literary Sites of Memory

      by Jonathan Lewis

      This book analyses representations of the Algerian War of Independence (1954–62) in the literary output of French authors of Algerian origin, problematising the extent to which these literary ‘sites of memory’ provide appropriate spaces of consensus for hitherto competing memories of the war.

    • Literature & Literary Studies
      January 2019

      Carmen Martín Gaite

      Poetics, Visual Elements and Space

      by Ester Bautista Botello

      This book analyses Carmen Martín Gaite’s novels published in the 1990s. The book is particularly important for its focus on the way a persistent presence of visual elements (drawing, painting and collage) shed light on the relevance of her residence in the United States.

    • Literature & Literary Studies
      May 2019

      Women and the City in French Literature and Culture

      Reconfiguring the Feminine in the Urban Environment

      by Siobhán McIlvanney, Gillian Ni Cheallaigh

      This collection of essays contains critical analysis, from a female perspective, of a selection of films, journals and novels from the French medieval period to the Franco-Algerian present, and gives us a strikingly original view of the relationship between women and the cities that they increasingly call ‘home’.

    • Literature & Literary Studies
      July 2019

      Horror and Religion

      New literary approaches to Theology, Race and Sexuality

      by Eleanor Beal, Jonathan Greenaway

      Horror and Religion is an edited collection of essays offering structured discussions of spiritual and theological conflicts in horror from the late-sixteenth to the twenty-first century. Contributors explore the various ways that horror and religion have interacted over themes of race and sexuality.

    • Literature & Literary Studies
      September 2019

      Introducing the Medieval Dragon

      by Thomas Honegger

      It is the aim of this short study to explore the characteristics of the medieval dragon, to describe its pedigree in antiquity and beyond, to discuss the different and sometimes differing views on the dragon in the relevant medieval text types – notably encyclopaedias, religious texts, and secular poems and tales – and briefly to outline the development of the dragon in post-medieval literature and culture.

    • Literary studies: classical, early & medieval
      November 2019

      Middle English Devotional Compilations

      Composing Imaginative Variations in Late Medieval England

      by Diana Denissen

      Middle English Devotional Compilations approaches compiling as a literary activity and as an active way of shaping the medieval text. This monograph examines three major but understudied Middle English devotional compilations in depth: the Pore Caitif, The Tretyse of Love and A Talkyng of the Love of God.

    • Literature & Literary Studies
      November 2019

      John Ormond’s Organic Mosaic

      Poetry, Documentary, Nation

      by Kieron Smith

      In a uniquely dualistic creative career spanning five decades, John Ormond made major contributions to both English-language poetry and documentary filmmaking. Born in Swansea, he learned to ‘think in terms of pictures’ while working as a journalist in London, where he secured a job at the celebrated photojournalist magazine Picture Post. Employed later by the BBC in Cardiff during the early days of television, Ormond went on to become a pioneer in documentary film. This book is the first in-depth examination of the fascinating correspondences between Ormond’s twin creative channels; viewing his work against the backdrop of a changing Wales, it constitutes an important case study in the history of documentary filmmaking, in the history of British television, and in the cultural history of Wales.

    • Literature & Literary Studies
      February 2020

      New Theoretical Perspectives on Dylan Thomas

      “ A writer of words, and nothing else”?

      by Kieron Smith and Rhian Barfoot

      Dylan Thomas’s reputation precedes him. In keeping with his claim that he held ‘a beast, an angel, and a madman in him’, interpretations of his work have ranged from solemn adoration to dubious mythologising. His many voices continue to reverberate across culture and the arts: from poetry and letters, to popular music and Hollywood film. However, this wide and sometimes controversial renown has occasionally hindered serious analysis of his writing. Counterbalancing the often-misleading popular reputation, this book showcases eight new critical perspectives on Thomas’s work. It is the first to provide in one volume a critical overview of the multifaceted range of his output, from the poetry, prose and correspondence to his work for wartime propaganda filmmaking, his late play for voices Under Milk Wood, and his reputation in letters and wider society. The whole proves that Thomas was much more than his own self-characterisation as a ‘writer of words, and nothing else’.

    • Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
      March 2009

      The Milieu and Context of the Wooing Group

      by Susannah M Chewning

      This book brings together the most current interpretations of the Wooing Group from scholars currently working on the fields of medieval spirituality, gender, and the anchoritic tradition, providing literary, theological, linguistic, and cultural context for the works associated with the Wooing Group (a collection of texts in English written by an unknown author in the late twelfth to early thirteenth centuries). These works are unique in their context – written almost certainly for a group of women living as anchoresses and recluses who were literate in English and were interested in guidance both in spiritual and worldly issues. The book discusses and explains the impact and significance of these works and situates them within the continuum of medieval theological and literary culture.

    • Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
      February 2011

      The Fiction of Emyr Humphreys

      Contemporary Critical Perspectives

      by Linden Peach (Author)

      For over half a century, Emyr Humphreys’s work as a novelist, short story writer, poet, dramatist and television producer has been extraordinarily impressive. This pioneering and stimulating book considers Humphreys’s fiction from a range of contemporary critical perspectives and stresses its relevance to the 21st century. Drawing on the work of leading modern cultural and literary theorists such as Jacques Derrida and Homi Bhabha, psychoanalytic critics such as Melanie Klein and Jacqueline Rose, and gender theorists such as Judith Butler, Linden Peach brings fresh perspectives to the content, structure and developing nature of Humphreys’s work, employing, for example, historicist, post-historicist, new geography, psychoanalytic and feminist and postfeminist frameworks. Through detailed readings which highlight subjects such as gender identity, contested masculinities, war, pacifism, strangeness and ‘otherness’, problematic father and daughter relationships, and cultural discourse in complex linguistic environments, Peach suggests that Humphreys’s work is best understood as ‘dramatic’, ‘dissident’ and/or ‘dilemma’ fiction rather than by the term ‘Protestant novelist’ which Humphreys used to describe himself at the outset of his career. Stressing how Humphreys came to see himself as more of a ‘protesting’ novelist, Peach examines how the dilemmas around which his fiction is based, originally linked to Humphreys’s definition of himself as a ‘protestant’ writer, increasingly become sites in which controversial, and often dark themes, are explored. This approach to Humphreys’s work is pursued through exciting readings of some of Humphreys best and lesser known works including A Man’s Estate, A Toy Epic, Outside the House of Baal, the Best of Friends, salt of the Earth, Unconditional Surrender, The Gift of a Daughter, Natives, Ghosts and Strangers, Old people are a Problem, The shop and The Woman at the Window.

    • Literary studies: poetry & poets
      February 2012

      Edward Thomas

      The Origins of his Poetry

      by Judy Kendall (Author)

      Edward Thomas: The Origins of his Poetry builds a new theoretical framework for critical work on imaginative composition through an investigation of Edward Thomas’s composing processes, on material from his letters, his poems and his prose books. It looks at his relation to the land and landscape and includes detailed and illuminating new readings of his poems and close study of many of his hitherto relatively neglected prose works. It traces new and surprising connections between Thomas’s approach to composition and the writing and thought of Freud, Woolf and William James, and introduces the significant influence of Japanese aesthetics on Thomas. Analysis of his drafts, layout and typographic and handwritten habits also illumine both his completed poetry and his approach to composition. The sustained study of some of Thomas’s voluminous correspondence with fellow poets and writers helps also to provide an epistolary reading of his work. The result is not only an ambitious, detailed original consideration of Thomas as writer of poetry and prose but also a surprising and far-reaching analysis of poetic composition with wide-reaching implications for early twentieth-century aesthetic theory, and the limits or the conditions of the sayable, and, through the subtle use of epigraphs from a wide-range of differing sources, the location of the specific readings of Thomas in a much wider intellectual context .

    • Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
      June 2012

      Ruth Bidgood

      by Matthew Jarvis (Author)

      This is the first full-length study of the poet Ruth Bidgood, who is best known for her long-term literary engagement with the landscape and communities of the mid-Wales region she has made her home. Considering her entire career to date, this volume provides detailed scrutiny of Bidgood’s poetry from its genesis in her formative discovery of mid-Wales in the 1960s to her 2009 prize-winning volume Time Being. Whilst acknowledging the breadth of Bidgood’s poetic work, this book argues that her most important achievement is her creation, over many years, of what has become nothing less than a mid-Wales epic.

    • Literary studies: general
      January 2012

      The Queer Uncanny

      New Perspectives on the Gothic

      by Paulina Palmer (Author)

      The Queer Uncanny: New Perspectives on the Gothic investigates the diverse roles that the uncanny, as defined by Sigmund Freud, Helene Cixous and other theorists, plays in representing lesbian and male gay sexualities and transgender in a selection of contemporary British, American and Caribbean fiction published 1980-2007. Novels by Christopher Bram, Alan Hollinghurst, Randall Kenan, Shani Mootoo, James Purdy, Sarah Schulman, Ali Smith, Sarah Waters, Jeanette Winterson and other writers are discussed in the context of queer theory and gothic critical writing. The notion of the uncanny as ‘tangential and to one side’ and ‘appearing on the fringe of something else’, as defined by Cixous and Rosemary Jackson, appropriately evokes the situation of the queer individual living in a minority sub-culture and existing in oblique relation to hetero- normative society. Motifs with uncanny connotations discussed include secrets that society would prefer to remain hidden but come to light, spectral visitation, the emergence of repressed fears and desires, the double, and the homely/ unhomely house. Writers employ them to explore topics integral to queer existence. These include secrets relating to the closet and AIDS; homosexual panic; lesbian social invisibility; transgender subjectivity; the intersection between sexuality and race; the vilification of the queer subject as ‘monstrous Other’; the domestic life of the gay couple destabilised by homophobic influences from the public world; and the heterosexual family disrupted by homosexual secrets from within. The queer recasting of gothic motifs, such as the haunted house, the uncanny city, the grotesque body, and the breakdown of the family due to paternal incest, receives attention.

    • Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
      July 2012

      Bard of Liberty

      The Political Radicalism of Iolo Morganwg

      by Geraint H. Jenkins (Author)

      This is the first full-scale study of the political radicalism of Iolo Morganwg, the renowned Welsh romantic whose colourful life as a Glamorgan stonemason, poet, writer, political activist and humanitarian made him one of the founders of modern Wales. This path-breaking volume offers a vivid portrait of a natural contrarian who tilted against the forces of the establishment for the whole of his adult life. Known as the ‘Bard of Liberty’ or the ’little republican bard’, he moved in highly-politicized circles, embraced republicanism, founded the Gorsedd of the Bards of the Isle of Britain, threw in his lot with Unitarians, promoted a sense of cultural nationalism, and supported the anti-slave trade campaign and the anti-war movement during years of war, oppression and cruelty.

    • Literary studies: classical, early & medieval
      September 2012

      The Holy Grail

      History and Legend

      by Juliette Wood (Author)

      The Holy Grail is one of the most fascinating themes in medieval literature. It was described as the vessel used by Jesus to celebrate the first Eucharist and it became the object of the greatest quest undertaken by King Arthur’s knight. This book examines the traditions attached to the Holy Grail from its first appearance in medieval romance through its transformation into an object of mystical significance in modern literature and film. It is a journey filled with knightly quests, mystics and holy relics, poets and novelists, outlandish speculation and serious thought.

    • Literary studies: general
      June 2009

      Postcolonialism Revisited

      Writing Wales in English

      by Kirsti Bohata (Author)

      Postcolonialism Revisited is a ground-breaking book, the first to explore and analyse Anglophone Welsh writing, both literary and otherwise, in the context of contemporary thinking about colonial and post-colonial cultures. Kirsti Bohata considers how far the paradigms of postcolonial theory may be usefully adopted and adapted to provide an illuminating exploration of Welsh writing in English, while simultaneously considering the challenges that such writing might offer to the field of postcolonial theory.

    • Literary studies: general
      July 2011

      Gothic Machine

      Textualities, Pre-Cinematic Media and Film in Popular Visual Culture, 1670-1910

      by David J. Jones (Author)

      Gothic Machine is a ground-breaking exploration of relations between Gothic literature, pre-cinematic media such as magic lanterns, phantasmagoria and dioramas and the first films 1670-1910. Starting with the earliest projections of horror images, continuing through the development of Gothic fiction and drama and closing with the first Frankenstein film, this study is a fascinating and pioneering evaluation of relations between these different media. As early as 1800, the Marquis de Sade identified Gothic novels such as The Monk and The Mysteries of Udolpho as ‘phantasmagoria’. This work explores the reasons why and, amongst the other mysteries broached en route is the reason that our first view of Dracula on English soil is described by Bram Stoker as a ‘diorama’. That doyen of tales of terror, Sheridan Le Fanu is revealed to be a literary magic lanternist, as is Robert Louis Stevenson. Symbolist visions of spectral automated chanteuses and demonic panoramas are discussed as are the darkest fantasies of J-K Huysmans and the earliest film-makers. This study, which moves between detailed study of the work of specific showmen and artists in relation to media histories and, elsewhere, much wider and more general surveys of cultural expression of these processes, is driven by historicist thought throughout. The author’s argument is audacious and bold, challenging critical orthodoxies on spectrality and the envisioning of ghosts. As the cultural detective who re-discovered the setting of E.G. Robertson’s convent Phantasmagoria, Dr. Jones is in a unique position to explore the performative aspects of this famous spectacle. The author explores five key periods in Germany, Britain, France and America over the designated span. Finally, the widely-ranging discussion crosses the line between pre-cinematic shows and cinema proper revealing how the new technology itself became a haunted, Gothic medium.

    • Literary studies: poetry & poets
      September 2011

      R. S. Thomas

      A Stylistic Biography

      by Daniel Westover (Author)

      R. S. Thomas (1913-2000) is the most recognizable literary figure in twentieth-century Wales. His controversial politics and public personality made him a cultural icon during his life, and the merits of his poetry have continued to be debated in the years after his death. Yet these debates have too-often circled familiar ground, returning to the assumed personality of the poet or to the received narrative of his experience. Even the best studies have focused almost exclusively on ideas and themes. As a result, the poetry itself has frequently been marginalized. This book argues that Thomas’s reputation must be grounded in poetry, not personality. Unlike traditional literary biography, which combines historical facts with the conventions of narrative in an attempt to understand the life of a literary figure, this stylistic biography focuses on the essential relationship between the maker and the made object, giving priority to the latter. R. S. Thomas began his career by writing sugary, derivative lyrics inspired by Palgrave’s Golden Treasury, yet he ended it as a form-seeking experimentalist. This study guides the reader through that journey, tracing Thomas’s stylistic evolution over six decades. In so doing, it asserts a priority: not to look at poetry, as many have, as a way of affirming existing notions about an iconic R. S. Thomas, but to come to terms with the tensions within him as they reveal themselves in the tensions – rhythmic, linguistic, structural – of the poetry itself.

    • Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
      October 2011

      Dorothy Edwards

      by Claire Flay (Author)

      Dorothy Edwards is the first full-length biographical and literary study of this enigmatic valleys-born writer. Combining close textual analysis with comprehensive biography, this book draws on previously unpublished archival material to fill in the details of Edwards’ life, and considers her work in the light of her views and experiences. Born in the south-Wales mining valley of Ogmore Vale in 1903, Edwards was raised in a radical socialist household during a period of political debate and industrial strife. And yet despite her upbringing, readers of Edwards’ work could be forgiven for initially believing hers to be the work of a middle-class English author. The paradox between upbringing and the literary world that she chose to create is central to Dorothy Edwards. The first of the book’s four chapters focuses on Edwards’ biography; informed by new manuscript material, it outlines the period from Edwards’ birth and upbringing, to the writing of Rhapsody (1927) and Winter Sonata (1928). The second chapter constitutes a reading of the short-story collection Rhapsody in the light of gender theories, while the third section offers the first in-depth study of Edwards’ only published novel, Winter Sonata. Finally, the book returns to discuss the year leading up to her suicide on 6th January 1934, which Edwards largely spent in London living with Bloomsbury author David Garnett and his family, and the impact that this experience had on her understanding of national and class divisions. Previously unpublished letters and diary entries offer an insight into her feelings and experiences during this turbulent period.

    • Literary studies: poetry & poets
      December 2011

      John Morris-Jones

      by Allan James (Author)

      Arferai John Morris-Jones, yn ôl Gwenogvryn Evans un o’i gyfoeswyr, gyfeirio at y Deyrnas Unedig ac Iwerddon fel ‘Anglesey and the adjacent islands’ fel na raid amau cryfder ei ymlyniad wrth ei filltir sgwâr. Yn Nhrefor, Llandrygarn, yn sir Fôn y’i ganed er i’r teulu symud oddi yno i Lanfair Pwllgwyngyll o fewn rhyw dair blynedd ac yno y bu am weddill ei oes. Aeth yn y man i Ysgol Friars ym Mangor ac wedi hynny i Goleg Aberhonddu yng nghwmni nifer o’i gyd-ddisgyblion a’r prifathro, y Parchg. D. Lewis Lloyd. Profodd ei hun yn ddisgybl disglair mewn Mathemateg gan ennill ysgoloriaeth i Rydychen yn 1883 lle bu’n astudio am radd yn ei ddewis bwnc. Ond wedi graddio ei ddymuniad oedd ffarwelio â Mathemateg am iddo ers tro ymddiddori mewn astudiaethau ieithyddol dan ddylanwad Athro Celteg Prifysgol Rhydychen, Syr John Rhŷs. Ar ôl cyfnod o waith ymchwil yn y Gymraeg dan gyfarwyddyd Rhŷs, penodwyd John Morris-Jones yn ddarlithydd ac, ymhen amser, yn Athro yn y Gymraeg yng Ngholeg Prifysgol Bangor. Cydnabyddir fod iddo ran allweddol yn y dadeni llenyddol a welwyd yng Nghymru ym mlynyddoed cynnar yr ugeinfed ganrif. Cyplysir ei enw ag un O.M. Edwards, y ddau’n ffigurau amlwg yn hanes y dadeni hwnnw ar ôl bod yn gyd-fyfyrwyr yn Rhydychen a chael eu hysbrydoli drwy gyfrwng cyfeillach ffrwythlon â chyfoedion yno dan arweiniad Syr John Rhŷs. Fel ymgyrchwr gallai ymddangos yn bur ymosodol ei agwedd. Ac eto, ceisir dangos fod cryn wahaniaeth rhwng ei ddelwedd gyhoeddus a’r hyn a wyddom am John Morris-Jones y gŵr a’r tad, yr ymgomiwr diddan a’r gwestai croesawgar ar ei aelwyd ei hun. Wrth ymdrin â’r wedd bersonol ar ei bersonoliaeth, manteisiwyd ar y dystioaeth a welir mewn gwahanol gyfresi o lythyrau a ddaeth i’r amlwg yn weddol ddiweddar, llythyrau na dderbyniodd hyd yma ryw lawer o sylw. Y gobaith yw y bydd y fath gyfuniad o dystiolaeth yn creu darlun mwy cyflawn o un o ffigurau amlwg ei gyfnod yng Nghymru.

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