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Literary urbanism, visuality and modernity

Tepe, John Bright (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Literary Urbanism and the Symbolist Aesthetic argues that the modern city influences urban writers to develop particular literary-visual practices that translate urban experience into poetry and prose. Chapter one considers how urban planning in Paris during the Second Empire inspired Charles Baudelaire‘s theories of modernity and aesthetic history. Chapter two discusses how A.C. Swinburne translates Baudelairean modernity into an English literary perspective through Sapphic poetry, and the importance Swinburne‘s association with painters has in this process. Swinburne‘s friendship with James McNeill Whistler, for example, results in the ekphrastic poem "Hermaphroditus", which uses sculpture to comment upon the modern city‘s potential to heighten perceptual consciousness. Chapter three studies the application of ekphrasis in urban writing, especially the way in which Arthur Symons‘ poetry uses symbols to render an immediate awareness of the city. Symons‘ reception of French Symbolist poetics opens chapter four, and introduces T.E. Hulme and Henri Bergson as theorists who develop a means of thinking the city through internal consciousness, not geographic space. This initiates chapter five‘s interest in how Pound and Eliot use metaphors of illumination to articulate how perceptions of the city arrive through transposition and refraction.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Longworth, Deborah
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of English
Subjects:PR English literature
PS American literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:859
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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