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Anarchies of the Mind: A Contrapuntal Reading of the Poetry and Prose of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Dambudzo Marechera

Mushakavanhu, Tinashe (2017) Anarchies of the Mind: A Contrapuntal Reading of the Poetry and Prose of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Dambudzo Marechera. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:69686)


The thesis examines the historical and contemporary engagements of philosophical anarchism in the selected writings of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Dambudzo Marechera in a bid to establish an anarchic poetics that emerges between them. Both use poetry and prose to express opposition to values and relations characterising authoritarian societies while also expressing alternative social, political and personal values. The unusual pairing of two writers who wrote and lived in very different times inevitably prompts an enquiry into the various trajectories of philosophical anarchism, Romanticism and postcoloniality in world literature. The aim is to blur the stereotypical nature of writers and writings from specific regions of the world and instead argue for an interliterary and intertextuality tradition as the new critical idiom. This thesis also analyses the social functioning of poetry and fiction in social reform and political revolution. Juxtaposing the perspectives of and writings from different spatio- temporal and cultural locations is necessary to emphasise the continuity of ideas, the evolution of theory and philosophy and the historical interconnectedness of humanity as explained by Edward Said's notion of 'contrapuntal juxtaposition.' The writings of Shelley and Marechera do raise important questions about society and the state and continue to address serious political issues. As will be demonstrated, the literature of Shelley and Marechera is not static, it grows and develops with each new reading, it is continually changing, and for this reason it is essentially moving. This study contributes to the fields of literary anarchist theory, postcolonialism as well as Romantic studies by extending a conceptual bridge between the political and literary histories of ideas in which Shelley and Marechera are both ambassadors.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Landry, Donna
Thesis advisor: Rooney, Caroline
Uncontrolled keywords: anarchism, postcoloniality, reform, Shelley and Marechera
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2018 12:47 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020 04:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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