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From this porch to your farthest: Feminism, Nature and Language in the Poetry of Barbara Guest

Fluke, Georgina Jane (2021) From this porch to your farthest: Feminism, Nature and Language in the Poetry of Barbara Guest. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.92701) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:92701)

Language: English

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This thesis surveys Barbara Guest's feminism, language, and representations of nature in her work from the 1960s to her millennial poems. It pays particular attention to Guest's deliberate co-location of women, and nature and the domestic home, as a means of realising those spaces as sites of female liberation, authority and autonomy. This work considers how, in positively co-locating women in nature and the domestic home, Guest manifests a feminism that is not seeking to assume the dominant masculine position, but one that endeavours to realise liberation in the spaces women already inhabit. The thesis aligns with Irigaray's feminism in its desire to refute suggestions that the association of women and nature is essentialist, demonstrating that this intersection in Guest's formally innovative poetry is a significant location of her feminism. In its analysis of Guest's means of realising a female speaking subject, this thesis also describes Guest's work as exemplifying écriture féminine, through her representations of the drive rhythms of the body and nature, expanding Cixous premise and describing the relationship between nature and the female body. Guest's expression of the Kristevan semiotic, abject and intertextuality, draws the work of Kristeva, Cixous and Irigaray together and renders Guest's work a point of transformation and subversion, in terms of gender politics, and the representation and realisation, of a female speaking subject. The thesis describes how the process of symbiosis, and the realisation of ecotone spaces are fundamental to Guest's realisation of a female speaking subject. Through the process of symbiosis, Guest realises ecotone spaces between disparate entities or liminal positions; city and country, land and sea, male and female. The ecotone spaces that Guest manifests in her poetry facilitate the production of new, alternate meanings and it is through them that Guest represents a female speaking subject that recognises the other as fundamental to the self and realises feminist artistic practices that do not simply react to, and against, male dominance.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Hickman, Ben
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.92701
Uncontrolled keywords: language, nature, feminism, ecocriticism, ecofeminism material, feminism, feminist, artist practices, poetry, Barbara Guest, semiotic ecriture, feminine Kristeva, Irigaray Cixous
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2022 15:10 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 10:45 UTC
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