‘Brightness and Unfixity: reframing epiphany in Alice Oswald’s Woods etc.’

Date

2019-06-17

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

C21 Literature: Journal of 21st Century Writings

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Epiphany in contemporary British poetry is perceived by some poets and critics, often those who self-identify as being outside of the mainstream, as a uniform, coercive, teleological, and unchallenging literary mode. This article intervenes in these debates to show how mainstream contemporary poetry, like its more experimental and avant-garde counterparts, also disrupts the traditional epiphanic paradigm. Through new critical readings of selected poems from Alice Oswald’s collection Woods etc. (2005), this article argues for a reframing that comprises epiphanies of ‘brightness’ and ‘unfixity’ and resists a teleological reading of this deep-rooted literary mode. It proposes that these poems offer a new way of thinking about epiphany as an ongoing process of revelation in contrast to the more familiar and well-established singular moment of insight.

Description

Keywords

contemporary poetry, epiphany, Alice Oswald, Woods etc.

Citation

Dixon, J., (2019) Brightness and Unfixity: reframing epiphany in Alice Oswald’s Woods etc. C21: Journal of 21st Century Writings, 7 (1): 13, pp.1-21

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of English