Postgraduate English: Basil Bunting in Japan, Music in Four Quartets, and Trauma in Heart of Darkness and House of Leaves


TypewriterThe new issue of the journal Postgraduate English has been published. Issue 25 includes three articles on modernism. 

Nicoletta Asciuto (Durham University) examines the ways in which authors of the early twentieth century engaged with Japan, which was construed as “a fairy-tale place, whose existence itself is even hard to believe, and whose culture still needs interpretation.” In particular Asciuto reads Basil Bunting’s poem Chōmei at Toyama, which is his adaptation of a medieval Japanese essay. Considered to be Bunting’s most successful work of translation, the poem he created “interestingly combines elements of medieval Kyoto with those of contemporary Western civilization, giving the ancient text a new flavour.”

Also within modernist poetry, Jeremy Diaper (University of Birmingham) revisits T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets through the lens of music. Modernists from Pound to Woolf to Eliot himself were preoccupied with rendering literature according to “the musical phrase.” Diaper’s interdisciplinary approach – known as musico-criticism – allows one “to see just how penetrating the notion of music is within [Four Quartets].”

Finally, crossing from the modern period to the twenty-first century, Conor Michael Dawson (University College Cork) contrasts Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness with Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves. Drawing on recent work in psychoanalysis and trauma theory, Dawson shows how both works “demonstrate the potential distortions of posttraumatic memory in fiction” through protagonists who are forced “to confront aspects of their repressed pasts through a series of uncanny repetitions.”

Postgraduate English is a professionally reviewed journal for postgraduate students of English in the UK and Europe. In addition to scholarly articles, the journal also invites book reviews, reflections on postgraduate teaching, and free-wheeling polemics on all things academic, from intramural malfeasance to the education cuts.

The twenty-sixth issue of Postgraduate English is scheduled for publication in March 2013. Submissions for this issue must be received no later than 30th December 2012.

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