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TitleLandscape as language: discussing margaret drabble’s a writer’s britain. Landscape in literature, of 1979
Author(s)Guimarães, Paula Alexandra
Editor(s)Coromina, Jordi Chumillas
Parareda, Ricard Giramé
Issue date2015
PublisherUniversitat de Vic (Universitat Central de Catalunya). Servei de Publicacions Institucionals
Abstract(s)The love of place is endemic in English literature, from the work of the earliest poets and hermits to the suburban celebrations of John Betjeman, covering all varieties of the British rural and urban landscape. Drabble’s book was the first to present an image of Britain as seen by writers of different regions and periods, and also to illuminate the way in which their work has changed the visual attitudes of the British, their taste in landscape and their relation to nature. Angus Wilson, in The Observer, thought it “enlightening in its constant apposite quotations and in its marvelous movement in and out of scores of major and minor writers without sacrificing any standards of literary judgement”. Richard Holmes, in The Times, described it as “an enormously evocative and rewarding anthology of the English genius loci”. In this paper, I propose to discuss in particular not only how Drabble’s paradigmatic book, a classic of literary tourism, pictures British landscape as literary language or verbal art but also how modern criticism on literary geographies and cartographies, as well as tourism and heritage studies, might interpret her somewhat dated approach to these issues. As Drabble stated, her book “combines journeys both in place and in time”, representing at once the changing and the unchanging. And because there are many ways of reading landscape, hers “is not a guide or gazeteer, but a personal selection”. For her, “English writers have persisted in finding beauty in the most unexpected corners, in slag heaps and urban wildernesses”; A Writer’s Britain is thus “an opportunity for looking again at familiar authors” and “for tracing clues through the less familiar”.
TypeBook part
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CEHUM - Livros e Capítulos de Livros

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