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Aspects of Trevor’s England

) ‘was the preservation of love within marriage’ (LD 14). But her glibly trivialising method of realising it is shown up by the rather more testing and painful experiences of married love that Elizabeth Aidallbery and Julia Anstey undergo. As Elizabeth Alone and Other People’s Worlds suggest, an important aspect of Trevor’s English novels of recovery and reintegration is the emergence of female protagonists. Conventionally seen as embodiments of dependence, these characters are shown to be unexpected sources of renewal and reconciliation. 34 William Trevor

in William Trevor
Haroun and the Sea of Stories and The Moor’s Last Sigh

finds the novel’s ending pessimistic anymore, because what has happened in India since 1981 is so much darker than I had imagined. If anything, the book’s last pages, with their suggestion of a new, more pragmatic generation rising up to take over from the midnight children, now seem absurdly, romantic. (IHL, 33) Rushdie’s sixth novel, The Moor’s Last Sigh , written fourteen years after Midnight’s Children , may be seen as the fictional embodiment of this darker, less forgiving assessment of India’s post-Independence political life. Here

in Salman Rushdie
Liam O’Flaherty’s The Informer (1925)

O’Flaherty’s celebrated novel concerns an act of overt political treason: Gypo Nolan, a disaffected member of ‘the party’ (the communists wing of the IRA), informs on a friend and comrade for £20. His subsequent descent into the ‘hell’ of post-Treaty Dublin, and his eventual redemption, are tracked by the author in remorseless detail. The Informer affords an insight into the complexities of political affiliation in post-revolutionary Ireland, when nationalists, Marxist-Leninists and loyalists of various shades all claimed the right to identify both fidelity to, and betrayal of, ‘the cause’. O’Flaherty brings a moral-religious perspective to bear upon the material concerns of contemporary politics, however; simultaneously Judas and Jesus, Gypo Nolan becomes the embodiment of a tragedy at the heart of the human condition: the absolute desire to affiliate weighed against the absolute desire to betray.

in The Judas kiss
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’s ambivalent position both at the core of the inside yet on the outside: an insider-out. The orphan is perceived of as a racialised other who is, through emigration, involved in a programme of racial cleansing as Victorian Britain attempted to displace the racialised indigenous other in the colonies. Orphanhood, and the unknown genealogy it implies, is also the embodiment of Victorian culture’s fears of illegitimacy

in Orphan texts
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A final story

Water, Frozen and Hecuba it is primarily the mother’s; in By the Bog of Cats, The Lovely Bones, His Dark Materials and A Dream Play it is the daughter’s. In The Skriker, the story-telling protagonist is foregrounded because it is an embodiment of the story that is being told. Many of the stories reflect present-day anxieties, and reviewers interpret performances from the perspective of current narratives. Stephen Daldry’s production of An Inspector Calls was initially perceived as a riposte to an uncaring, Thatcherite attitude to society’s have-nots, but its collapsing

in Playing for time

. Gazurmah, Mafarka el-Bar’s mechanical son and the embodiment of Marinetti’s superuomo, is born with Mafarka’s self-sacrifice. Mafarka sculpts his progeny from wood and is commanded by the ghost of his dead mother to give his creation the kiss of life. After passing his anima to his son, the same son throws him against the rocks. Only with the destruction of his father can Gazurmah burst into Adamowicz and Storchi, Back to the Furutists.indd 30 01/11/2013 10:58:36 Heroes/heroines of Futurist culture 31 life. Mafarka the superman gives birth to Gazurmah, the super

in Back to the Futurists
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poem now without seeking to wrap it up conclusively and exit with a feeling of ‘closure’, having pinned down exactly all the implied overtones of the ironing activity d ­ escribed in the poem. The roomy, ‘airy shape’ mentioned at the end suggests the attainment of a more easy-going lifestyle, one which is less hidebound by routine, but the poem does not give any literal detail about it, and confines itself to presenting this concluding image of the unrestricting ‘creaseless blue’ garment. In general, then, poets value mimesis (the ‘enactment’ or ‘embodiment’ or

in Reading poetry
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the object, whereas an implicitly trusted object might be expected to radiate its own iconic authority, without the need for any such ‘pointer’. So if it were truly to represent a strict embodiment of the ideal of ‘No ideas but in things’, the poem would need to be presented untitled and without its opening couplet, thus: a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens. But I am pretty sure that nearly all readers would agree that in this form the effect of the poem is quite different. With its opening removed, it is no longer a metaphysical

in Reading poetry
Speech! Speech! (2000)

. Hill puns upon Leibniz’s concept of the monad as a singularity that is self-sufficient, relationless, and therefore ‘windowless’. The philosopher C. S. Pierce, whom Hill draws on in The Triumph of Love (XXV), expands upon the concept of the monad thus: Now in order to convert that psychological or logical conception into a metaphysical one, we must think of a metaphysical monad as a pure nature, or quality, in itself without parts or features, and without embodiment. (citation: ‘monad’, OED ) ‘Spitted up to

in Acceptable words
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’s story of the butterfly in Bogotá, an anecdote of anticipation, romance and disappointment, emblematised by a butterfly flying away in the sunlight (29). This enigmatic image recurs for Harry when he is trying to write his note of farewell (45), and in the narrative future at the moment of David’s execution. He determines to die for a futile cause, and although ‘[f]or an instant panic fluttered its wings in his ears’, in doing so becomes himself the centre of a mythic story told as an embodiment of heroism after his death by the commandant in charge of his execution

in Peter Carey