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André Verbart

The present study examines the relationship of Milton's Adam and Eve, their different identities, and their different roles, and explicates the link between the nature of their relationship and the dramatic developments of the biblical story. The story is considered in the light of Milton's ethics as explicated and implicated in Paradise Lost, which are crucially different from the present-day ethics which we naturally tend to superimpose or take for granted. He makes use of two particular means of investigation. Firstly, the author provides a technical analysis of Milton's style, with an emphasis on verbal (often latinate) ambiguity and on a feature hitherto hardly described in Milton criticism, namely syntactical ambiguity, all yielding extra information. Secondly, on the basis of newly found verbal parallels between Milton's Christian epic and Vergil's Roman epic the Aeneid the author provides an analysis of the intended contrast between Milton's Adam and Eve and Vergil's Dido and Aeneas; on Milton's request, so to speak, the romance of Adam and Eve is put in the epic and Vergilian context. The author's observations on Milton's strategic use of the Aeneid as an antithetic frame of reference for his own Paradise Lost also leads to an investigation into a poem which in its turn uses Milton's Paradise Lost as an antithetic frame of reference, namely Wordsworth's Prelude.

Alasdair Gray

The Fiction of Communion


Gavin Miller

Alasdair Gray’s writing, and in particular his great novel Lanark: A Life in Four Books (1981), is often read as a paradigm of postmodern practice. This study challenges that view by presenting an analysis that is at once more conventional and more strongly radical. By reading Gray in his cultural and intellectual context, and by placing him within the tradition of a Scottish history of ideas that has been largely neglected in contemporary critical writing, Gavin Miller re-opens contact between this highly individualistic artist and those Scottish and European philosophers and psychologists who helped shape his literary vision of personal and national identity. Scottish social anthropology and psychiatry (including the work of W. Robertson Smith, J.G. Frazer and R.D. Laing) can be seen as formative influences on Gray’s anti-essentialist vision of Scotland as a mosaic of communities, and of our social need for recognition, acknowledgement and the common life.

Configuring Romanticism

Essays offered to C. C. Barfoot


Edited by Theo D'haen, Peter Liebregts, Wim Tigges and Colin Ewen

Configuring Romanticism focuses on the ways in which “Romanticism” continues to change shape in light of new discoveries, new readings, new approaches. To this end, some essays here gathered offer novel interpretations of Romantic “classics” such as Wordsworth, Blake, and Southey, or discuss the Celtic roots of Romanticism. Others address the relationship of Romantic literature, particularly the work of Scott, Shelley, and De Quincey, to issues of colonialism and imperialism. Yet others trace the “afterlife” of Romanticism and the Romantics, specifically Byron, Shelley, and Keats, in the writings of Leigh Hunt, Elizabeth Gaskell, James Thomson, Algernon Swinburne, William Michael Rosetti, James Clarence Mangan, Francis Parkman, Gilbert and Sullivan, and T.S. Eliot, as well as in Dutch nineteenth-century criticism. The volume closes with discussions of the Romantic aspects of World War II propaganda, twentieth-century translations of the Aeneid in view of Romantic principles, the Romantic face of recent Québecois fiction, and present-day film versions of Jane Austen’s Emma.

From Caxton to Beckett

Essays presented to W.H. Toppen on the occasion of his 70th birthday


Edited by J.B.H. Alblas and Richard Todd

The Matter of Kings' Lives

The Design of Past and Present in the early fourteenth-century verse chronicles by Pierre de Langtoft and Robert Mannyng


Thea Summerfield

The rhymed chronicles by Pierre de Langtoft and Robert Mannyng, written between c.1305 and 1338, form a unique pair in the history of English literature and historiography. Both were written in the North of England, both deal with the history of the kings of England from Brutus to the death of Edward I in July 1307. Yet the differences between them are significant. Langtoft wrote in Anglo-Norman with a specific purpose and a specific audience in mind. Robert Mannyng translated a large part of Langtoft's work into English for a very different kind of audience. Although he stayed close to his source-text in many places, his deviations offer insights into the way the English clergy and the public they addressed viewed themselves, their history and their future.
The Matter of Kings' Lives is of interest to social and political historians, especially those interested in the reign of Edward I and Anglo-Scottish relations, and to literary historians who may find that these works have more to offer than has hitherto been realized.

The Crafting of Chaos

Narrative Structure in Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel and The Diviners


Hildegard Kuester

In this study of the Canadian novelist Margaret Laurence, recent narratological models provide the theoretical framework for a textual analysis that aims at complementing previous thematic critiques. The chief focus is on The Stone Angel and The Diviners, which the conclusion then presents in the context of the other novels in Laurence's Manawaka cycle. Consideration of the published works is rounded off with genetic comparison of the novelist's typescript drafts and an evaluation of the manuscript notes kept in the archives of McMaster and York Universities.
The central structural principle of The Stone Angel is its dovetailing of past and present scenes. Temporal arrangement, reflecting the frequency and duration of Hagar's memories, reveals the hold of memory over the central character and her attempts to suppress her fear of mortality. Hagar-as-narrator manipulates character-presentation and description to her own advantage. In a basically oppositional structure, her need for control is reflected in the neat ordering of the narrative. The verbal texture of the novel serves to establish a value system that insists on the superiority of imported culture over Western Canadian forms.
The Diviners shares a number of narrative similarities with The Stone Angel, but the latter's formal rigidity has yielded, by the time Laurence writes her last novel, to the concept of multiplicity - characters, time planes, perspectives and narrative voices (including metafictional commentaries). Textual coherence is secured via narrative strategies (including typography, generational paradigms, repetition, parallelism, intertextuality, and tropological patterning) that render the novel readable and present experience as ordered in a time of cultural flux and personal crisis.


Edited by Tom Hubbard and R.D.S. Jack

If there is ocht in Scotland that’s worth ha’en / There is nae distance to which it’s unattached – Hugh MacDiarmid A realignment of Scottish literary studies is long overdue. The present volume counters the relative neglect of comparative literature in Scotland by exploring the fortunes of Scottish writing in mainland Europe, and, conversely, the engagement of Scottish literary intellectuals with European texts. Most of the contributions draw on the online Bibliography of Scottish Literature in Translation. Together they demonstrate the richness of the creative dialogue, not only between writers, but also between musicians and visual artists when they turn their attention to literature. The contributors to this volume cover most of Europe, including the German-speaking countries, Scandinavia, France, Catalonia, Portugal, Italy, the Balkans, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Russia. All Scotland's major literary languages – Gaelic, Scots, English and Latin – are featured in a continent-wide labyrinth that will repay further exploration.


Nicholas Meihuizen

In recent years Yeats scholarship has been, to a large extent, historically-based in emphasis. Much has been gained from this emphasis, if we consider the refinement of critical awareness resulting from a better understanding of the intricate relationship between the poet and his times. However, the present author feels that an exclusive adherence to this approach impacts negatively on our ability to appreciate and understand Yeatsian creativity from within the internally located imperatives of creativity itself, as opposed to our understanding it on the basis of aesthetically constitutive socio-historical forces operative from without. He feels a need to relocate the study of Yeats in the work and thought of the poet himself, to focus again on the poet’s own myth-making. To this end Nicholas Meihuizen examines this myth-making as it relates to certain archetypal figures, places, and structures. The figures in question are the antagonist and goddess, embodiments of conflict and feminine forces in Yeats, and they participate in a lively drama within the places and shapes considered sacred by the poet: places such as the Sligo district and Byzantium; shapes such as the circling gyres of his system. The book should be interesting and valuable to students and scholars of varying degrees of acquaintance with the poet. To long-time Yeatsians it offers fresh perspectives onto important works and preoccupations. To new students it offers a means of exploring wide-ranging material within a few central, interrelated frames, a means that mirrors Yeats’s own commitment to unity in diversity.

La Route

Réalité et représentation dans l’œuvre de Wole Soyinka


Christiane Fioupou

L'image obsédante de la route parcourt toute l'oeuvre de l'écrivain nigérian Wole Soyinka, prix Nobel de littérature en 1986. Chemins, pistes et autoroutes, voies construites par des «bâtisseurs d'empires» restituent à un premier niveau de lecture des réalités géographiques, sociales, linguistiques, économiques et politiques. A partir de La Route (pièce charnière publiée en 1965), le présent ouvrage explore toute l'oeuvre de Soyinka (théâtre, poésie, roman, autobiographie, essais) dans sa mobile complexité et tisse des réseaux de correspondances liés à la figure centrale et ambivalente d'Ogun, dieu yoruba du fer, de la créativité et de la destruction, mais aussi dieur de la Route....
Puisant dans la richesse des cultures africaines, Soyinka réinterprète l'espace métaphysique et mythique yoruba et le transforme en mythologie personnelle; il s'approprie en même temps divers modes de pensée et de représentation (imagerie biblique, théâtre rituel, grec, shakespearien ou brechtien) pour nous faire accéder à des itinéraires inconnus. Il nous permet ainsi d'explorer les routes de la transition avec leurs «êtres du passage» et leurs «créatures crépusculaires,» mais aussi celles hantées par les chauffards de la religion, de la politique et de la critique littéraire qui participent à la «danse macabre» contemporaine que l'auteur met en scène.
La dynamique, l'ampleur et la complexité du thème de la route se retrouvent dans le mélange des genres et des formes constamment renouvelés de cette oeuvre mythopoétique et iconoclaste, tragique et satirique, comique et cosmique, parodique et truculente, restituant la complexité du monde dans sa transparence comme dans son opacité.

A Centre of Excellence

Essays presented to Seymour Betsky


Edited by Robert Druce