Cartographies of Culture

Cartographies of Culture: New Geographies of Welsh Writing in English

Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
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  • Book Info
    Cartographies of Culture
    Book Description:

    This pioneering study offers dynamic new answers to Christian Jacob’s question: ‘What are the links that bind the map to writing?’.

    eISBN: 978-0-7083-2477-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. General Editor’s Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    M. Wynn Thomas
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. List of Illustrations
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. Introduction: Triangulating Welsh Writing in English
    (pp. 1-19)

    ‘Cartography’ and ‘map’, Wystan Curnow reminds us, ‘belong to the vocabulary of writing cultures, and denote the paper or cloth on which inscription takes place’.¹ Thus, with thecartaof this opening page unfolded, the distinction between map and text already erased, you are reading cartographically. Introductions are expected to perform rather like the open charts foregrounded in Ellis Martin’s cover images for the new ‘Popular’ and ‘Tourist’ Ordnance Survey maps during the 1920s and 1930s. These trumpeted the authority of the map and interpellated readers as assured, mobile wayfarers (figure 1). As David Matless notes:

    Martin placed the map...

  7. 1 Mapping Borders: ‘Tintern Abbey’ and Literary Hydrography
    (pp. 20-42)

    Ever since Marjorie Levinson inWordsworth’s Great Period Poems(1986) gave us a portrait of a disingenuous poet who in ‘Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey’ ‘artfully assembled’ an idealized locus through strategies of displacement and sublimation, commentators have animatedly exchanged views on the poem’s geographical and psychicemplacement.¹ Sensing that ‘Tintern Abbey’ ‘is an especially difficult work to situate’, Levinson audaciously sought to ‘reconstruct’ a ‘scene of composition’ and recover the components of an ‘observed’ topography in order to lay bare Wordsworth’s bad faith, his occlusion of the socio-political and his flight into the mind.² Diagnosing the...

  8. 2 Mapping the Miracle: Hopkins and the Psychocartography of Welsh Space
    (pp. 43-77)

    On the evening of mid-Lent Sunday, 11 March 1877, the 32-year-old Gerard Manley Hopkins climbed to the ‘pulpitlike enclosure’ above his fellow scholastics in the refectory at St Beuno’s College, Tremeirchion, in the Vale of Clwyd to deliver a ‘Dominical’ – a thirty-minute practice sermon during the evening meal.¹ It was a test that came at the end of a trying period of examinations and lectures for the Jesuit Theologate.² Taking as his text Christ’s instruction prior to the miracle of the loaves and fishes – ‘Make the men sit down’ (John 6: 10) – he proceeded to outline to...

  9. 3 Mapping Islandness: Brenda Chamberlain’s Celtic Archipelagos
    (pp. 78-124)

    In the Brenda Chamberlain collection of manuscripts at the National Library of Wales are two coloured sketch-maps of Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli), catalogued under the title given at the head of one of them:Winter Rhythms in Island Life(see colour plates 6 and 7).¹ Both inhabit the hybrid space that Chamberlain spent her creative life exploring: the interface of graphic art, literary discourse and cartographic inscription. Their suggestive compound notation offers an emotional and psychological chart of Chamberlain’s response to life on ‘this deluding scrap of rock and turf’, as she referred to Bardsey (her home from 1947 to...

  10. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  11. 4 Mapping Moatedness: Brenda Chamberlain’s European Archipelagos
    (pp. 125-171)

    In late December 1952, five years after moving to Bardsey, Brenda Chamberlain, accompanied by Jean van der Bijl, visited Karl von Laer in his Westphalian ‘exile’ from his ancestral moated schloss or ‘water-castle’ at Schlotheim, now ‘lost’ in the Russian eastern zone of Germany. When she returned to Britain in February 1953, Chamberlain began remapping this post-war reunion with the man whose letters had sustained her emotionally and imaginatively since their first meeting at Bangor in ‘that student summer’ of 1932 as a novel:The Water-castle(1964).¹ It is the second major instalment of Chamberlain’s European map, whose inter-island spaces...

  12. 5 Mapping Partition: Waldo Williams, ‘In Two Fields’, and the 38th Parallel
    (pp. 172-202)

    Ironically, it is perhaps the democratic inclusiveness of Waldo Williams’s celebrated poem of summer 1956, ‘Mewn Dau Gae’ – ‘In Two Fields’ – that has rendered the poem ‘difficult’ for many readers (difficult enough, at any rate, to elicit a gloss from the poet: ‘Had I known it was dark, I would not have published it’).² Naturalization of paradox; chiaroscuro lighting effects; shifts between ‘singular and plural, personal and collective’, ‘affirmative’ and ‘questioning’ modes;³ exhilarating expansions and stringent contractions of perspective that allow an insistent, even prosaic, localism to yield to the universal and visionary, which in turn funnel back...

  13. Conclusion: The Digital Literary Atlas of Wales
    (pp. 203-209)

    At the end ofA History of Spaces(2004), John Pickles dared to imagine ‘new cartographies of geographies unhinged, plastic space and sliding signs’ that would be attuned to ‘new notions of nationhood, citizenship, state and territory’.¹ He envisaged mappings characterized by a ‘new openness’, creative cartographies that would produce ‘dialectical, dynamic and metaphorical images’, and chartings of lived space ‘attentive to the serious consequences of the lines we draw and the borders we inscribe’. Such mappings, which act beyond a Cartesian plane, have always existed in the form of imaginative writing. However, the precise material and conceptual tools that...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 210-241)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 242-262)
  16. Index
    (pp. 263-272)