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Pain body: writing at the intersection of elegy and witness

Scarpino, A.L (2014) Pain body: writing at the intersection of elegy and witness. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

Abstract

This thesis contains a creative and critical component. Written at the intersection of two poetics forms, elegy and poetry of witness, the creative piece, a book-length poem titled 'Pain Body', weaves together personal writing based on my experience with chronic pain, 'found' poetry that grounds my experience in larger conversatios about the body and illness, and mythically-minded writing about the ash tree. In the critical component, I identify the intersection of elegy and poetry of witness as having four defining characteristics: it is situated in what Carolyn Forche terms the 'social' sphere, it is firmly located in the body, it refuses consolation, and it demonstrates a fragmented and wounded language. I then discuss the poets Paul Monette and Audre Lorde as exemplars of writing at this intersection, as they elegize a loved one (Monette) and their own body (Lorde) while bearing witness to the AIDS epidemic (Monette) and growing cancer epidemic (Lorde). Finally, I examine the ways in which my writing in 'Pain Body' also exemplifies this intersection. My critical research thus shapes my creative writing, while extending and refining current scholarly conversations about elegy and witness.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 27 May 2015 09:17
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 13:27
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/6207
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