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Literary Language as a Tool for Design: An Architectural Study of the Spaces of Mervyn Peake's The Gormenghast Trilogy and 'Boy in Darkness'

Lesser Woods, Imogen Helen Louise (2018) Literary Language as a Tool for Design: An Architectural Study of the Spaces of Mervyn Peake's The Gormenghast Trilogy and 'Boy in Darkness'. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,.

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Abstract

The thesis discusses the relationship between the disciplines of literature and architecture. It opens up the potential of literary language to act as a design tool. In order to examine this hypothesis the literary spaces of Mervyn Peake's The Gormenghast Trilogy (1946-59) and 'Boy in Darkness' (1956) are examined as latent architectural spaces. The ensuing discussion poses questions regarding what an architectural language, practice or theory (in respect to the thesis) might be. The thesis questions traditional means of literary analysis, the importance of the author within the text and the related conventions.

Spaces extracted from Peake's text form the basis for the analysis. This research uses architectural practice, in the form of maps, sectional drawing and model making, to analyse and render the spaces of the text and their architectural potential. The spatial renditions enable their literary counterparts to be analysed as architectural proposals. An understanding of scale and inhabitation provide the basis from which these spaces can be examined. The positions of author, character, reader and architectural-draughtsman as inhabitants of the text are used to examine the relationship between the self and the other within the text and the architecturally rendered forms.

The concept of poetic inhabitation, derived from Bachelard, is extended to draw the apparently disparate aspects of the thesis together in order to argue for literary language to form a tool for architectural design. The thesis provides a position from which the questions are brought up and new avenues explored.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Fontana-Giusti, Gordana
Thesis advisor: March-Russell, Paul
Uncontrolled keywords: Architecture, Architectural Design, Design Tool, Architectural Practice, Literary Language, Mervyn Peake, Poetic Inhabitation
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > Architecture
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2018 10:12 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 04:17 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/66481 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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