The Latest Articles from Emagazine and English Review
Emagazine, April 2023
Nineteen Eighty-Four: Andrew McCallum draws on the discipline of cognitive literary studies to reveal how Orwell’s iconic work is a novel that encourages readers to think about thinking itself, as well as entering the minds of others. Might it make you think differently about the text?
How language play supports acquisition: Clare Mellor draws on research in CLA to show how the playful language of nursery rhymes, bouncing games and children’s books are all of great value in the development of children’s talk and their later reading too.
Music and muddle: the ‘undeveloped heart’ of Lucy Honeychurch: John Hathaway explores two important motifs in ‘A Room with a View’ that show the protagonist’s progress from bewildering uncertainty to a life with passion and meaning.
Reading around Romanticism and Romantic poetry – in emagazine and beyond: Barbara Bleiman offers some thoughts on finding out more about the broader cultural background to the poems you are studying, without losing sight of the poems themselves.
The Angel in the House: and the mistress, wife and muse: Coventry Patmore’s ‘The Angel in the House’ is a staple reference for A Level students working on the literature of the Victorian period. In this article Andrew Green explores this widely referred to, but probably hardly read, poem.
Metaphors of the digital age: pioneering or imprisoning? The metaphors we use tell us a lot about how we relate to the world, not least of all those that have developed to explain new technological developments in computers and social media. Caroline Godfre analyses some key aspects.
‘It is a sin to write this’: the prohibition of language in dystopia: Jessica Norledge has been writing about the language of dystopia for over ten years, working to unpick the style of dystopian literature and the experience of reading dystopian narratives. In this article, she examines the restriction of language use in dystopian world, paying particular attention to metaphors of reading, writing and communication.
Shakespeare’s characters: Dramatis Personae and character criticism: Character criticism is something that A Level students may do quite a lot of, looking for plausible motivations and psychological truth. But Professor Emma Smith argus that there are other, equally or even more interesting and imoportant, ways of exploring the figures who people Shakespeare’s plays.
‘The God of Small Things’: the river as a site of resistance: Hannah Morris explores the symbolism of the river in Arundhati Roy’s novel, revealing the role it plays in the plot but also as a liminal realm, in which damaging ideologies can be questioned.
Keats’s ‘Lamia’: a villainy problem: Keats wrote ‘Lamia’ when he was desperately ill and knew that he was dying. Kate Ashdown uncovers his trasngressive reworking of the myth, undermining the legend’s simple depiction of villainy.
Football language: Anna Wexler does a close linguistic analysis of a football commentary, exploring metaphor, community of practice and bias in the France vs England Quarter Final match of the men’s World Cup 2022.
Mrs Dalloway’s daughter: Though one might think of Elizabeth as a minor character in Woolf’s novel, Cassie Westwood suggests that she plays a highly significant role, emphasisng the limits of her mother’s freedom and signalling that change is to come.
Intertextuality in Poems of the Decade: Teacher Adrian Blamires offers fresh insights into three of the poems in the Foward anthology, by Daljit Nagra, Ian Duhig and Andrew Motion, exploring their intimate relationship with other texts.
Power, stewardship and the language of the market in ‘The Duchess of Malfi’: A Level teacher Alban Miles argues that Webster’s play is obsessed with status, money and material possessions and that Antonio and Bosola’s low birth is central to the tragedy that plays out.
Narrative prose: significant sentences: Professor Nicolas Tredell analyses the ways in which individual sentences can work powerfully in novels and short stories, drawing on a wonderful range of A Level texts to exemplify and explain his ideas.
Philipi Larkin, the poetry of nothing in ‘The Less Deceived’: Malcolm Hebron argues that Larkin’s anthology is like an ‘anti-adventure’ book, a collection where negatives abound, nothing happens, desires are thwarted, roads are not taken and yet the poetry itself has something special to say.
The exclusion zone: the alientated narrator in ‘Klara and the sun’ and ‘Jane Eyre’: What could two such different novels have in common? Judy Simons suggests more than one might think, their two unconventional narrators able to offer an equally powerful critique of their different worlds.
Q drops: the dangerous power of the elliptical message: Tim Clist examines the phenomenon of Qanon social media messaging, suggesting that it was the nature of the language used by the mysterious author that was so disturbingly attractive to such a large number of people.
English Review, April 2023
Painting the lion: female characters and their stories: Nicola Onyett compares three texts across time in which female characters make us think about whose stories are shared, and whose are suppressed. This includes a brief dicussion about The Handmaid’s Tale.
Codes and communication: The Go-between and Atonement: Alison Kelly examines the way in which social codes and miscommunication, particularly via letters, operate with fatal outcomes in two novels – The Go-Between and Atonement.
Exam skills: ten top tips for exam success: As the exam season approaches, Luke McBratney offers advice to bolster your confidence, sharpen your skills and optimise your performance. Even if you haven’t revised as much as you should have, there’s still enough time to study smart and boost your grade by putting the following tips into practice.
Upstart Crow: only here for the laughs? Cathy O’Neill enjoys a binge watch of Ben Elton’s Upstart Crow – the sitcom about the life of the world’s favourite bard as it just might have been – to discover what else (other than laughs) the television series offers students of Shakespeare.
The Duchess of Malfi: sunlight and shadows: Laura Jayne Wright considers how light and colour expose dark screts in a digital production of John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi.
Texts in context: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: A look at the biographical context, social, historical and political context, religious context, the American Dream, poular culture and literary context.
Passing in and out of consciousness: Michele Mendelssohn examines Nella Larsen’s modernist novel.
Exam skills: navigating travel writing: language and literature: Mark Payton explores approaches to the analysis of travel writing for the English language and literature exam, using Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni’s Understanding Chic as an example. This piece forms part of a 2011 compilation of outsiders’ reflection on Paris entitled Paris was Ours and is therefore ideal for inclusion in the AQA Anthology: Paris for analysis by students of A-level English language and literature in Section A (Remembered Places) or Paper 1 (Telling Stories). Look out for the practice exam question in this article.
Inights: play in literature: Cathy O’Neill investigates how play in literature may express unbounded joy but can also be a conduit for more complex and disturbing emotions. This article examines death play in Antony and Cleopatra, play and unposken feeling in Persuasion and sinister play with Charles Dickens.
The Great Gatsby: cars, crimes and carnivals: Philip McGowan considers the themes of fantasy, technology and politics in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel.
Landmarks in criticism: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf: Nicola Onyett re-examines a landmark in early twentieth-century feminist criticism in the light of later critical developments.
Anniversaries: fifty years of Virago: Ann Kennedy Smith looks back over 50 years of Virago, in the light of Carmen Callil’s recent death. Virago revolutionaised the British publishing industry in the 1970s, but is it still relevant today?
If you liked this… Angel by Elizabeth Taylor: If you are interested in how narrative control is challenged within literary texts (see the article on pages 2-5 of this issue), Cathy O’Neill suggests you might enjoy Angel by the English author Elizabeth Taylor (1957). In this novel, Taylor’s own narrative voice challenges teenage protagonist Angel’s excesses in surprising ways, as the young writer tries to escape her boring hometown.
Contemporary poets: Fran Lock: A look at Lock’s poem For Britney (or whoever).
Emagazine, February 2023
The Great Gatsby and Huck Finn: who wrote this? Nick Johnston-Jones asks who controls the narrative in these two iconic American novels, the authors or narrators, and what this reveals to their readers about the slippery nature of truth in fiction.
You’ve been framed: reading news about language: In this article, Dan Clayton flags up the importance of thinking about the context for stories about language, not just the stories themselves, to understand the broader political and cultural agenda that gives rise to them.
Shakespeare in silence: A Level student Rebecca Palmer was asked by the director of ‘Shakespeare in the Park, Lichfield’ to provide signed access in British Sign Language (BSL) for their production of Hamlet. Here she explains the fascinating and inspiring process of interpretation involved and what was revealed to her – and the audience – about the play itself.
What to choose for your NEA: contemporary and less wll-known texts: Stuck for ideas for an NEA pairing? Looking for texts with strong point of connection that aren’t the same old ones everyone else is doing? Hoping to read and write about a contemporary text? Read on!
Familiar but strange: the uncanny in literary texts: Hester Glass explores the concept of the uncanny in several commonly studied texts, showing that, as Freud said in his writing about it, it really is a ‘fertile province’.
Nonsense in the poetry of Sylvia Plath: Sylvia Plath was very much influenced by the nonsense poets of the Victoria era and those of her own times, but she put nonsense to darker use, as a way of expressing the unsayable and the intolerable. So argues Vanessa Raison.
Rebecca: the femma fatale: Rebecca could be seen as one of the most malevolent femme fatale figures of all time, argues John Hathaway, suggesting that it is her power after death as much as during her life, that makes her so shockingly powerful. But he goes on to question this view of her, in the light of contemporary views on women and their lives.
Misogynist or not? Feminist perspectives on A Streetcar Named Desire: Ian Todd ranges across several pieces of Femininst criticism, both from the past and mre recently, and demonstrates that there is no one single Feminist reading of Tennessee Williams’ play but rather many different – sometimes competing – angles.
‘Dear Prime Minister…’: using corpus linguistics at A Level: A Level teacher, Neil Hutchinson, shows how using corpus tools can allow you to take a forensic analytical approach to a data set – in this case the letters of resignation from MPs to Boris Johnson in July 2022.
Beyond expectation: two texts from different times: David Kinder shows how rooting your systematic analysis of texts in their contents, and reading with a curiosity that overrides routine expectations, can allow you to write successfully about significant similarities and differences between texts.
Detectives of the mind: Brighton Rock and psychoanalytic theory: Both the psyche of the criminal, and the act of investigation, are ripe for psychoanalytic exploration, argues Samantha Duffy, showing how two key aspects – the role of the mother and father – can throw light on Pinkie and his actions.
Unputdownable: ideas of culture in Tony Harrison’s A Good Read: George Norton explains the complex relationship between ordinary and ‘high’ culture in Tony Harrison’s poetry and shows how alienation from his family provokes painful and deep thinking about the relationship between class and culture.
Doctor, doctor, you’ve got a language problem: Clare Mellor examines the language of doctors to patients, revealing how difficult it is to find a balance between the downright obscure and the dreadfully patronising.
The structure of a play: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and A Doll’s House: Structure is important in drama and plays can be analysed to reveal the underlying organisation. Simon Bubb shows how.
Motherhood in The Color Purple and Girl, Woman, Other: Stephen Dilly explores the different forms motherhood takes in novels by Alice Walker and Bernardine Evaristo and the powerful ideas that unite them.
Making us care: how fiction writers achieve this: Fiction write Gillian Thompson analyses two popular A Level texts, Never Let Me Go and Frankenstein with a writer’s eye, looking at how the authors create sympathy for their characters.
Parable of the Sower: a tale of now? Deborah Halifax introduces this fascinating dystopian novel, a text that is finally getting the attention it deserves, having been set on the OCR Literature specification in the Dystopia topics for Component 2.
Language profile: Simon Horobin: Focusing on the work of Simon Horobinm author of The English Language: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2018), A Level teacher Nikolai Luck shows how exploring the work of linguists writing for non-specialist audiences can transform your understanding of language variation and change and the attitudes they engender.
English Review, February 2023
The Wipers Times: ‘A bit like Blackadder, only true’: Caroline Barrett explores how Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s The Wipers Times challenges the established voices of the First World War.
Exam skills: Classic texts, new approaches: The Great Gatsby: In our series offering alternative readings to established set texts, Luke McBratney views F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel through the lens of marxism. Look out for the practice exam question in this article.
‘Under the clock’ with Mean Time: Anne Varty looks at Carol Ann Duffy’s influential collection 30 years after its publication, and its evocation of time in many forms. Look out for the practice exam questions in this article.
Landamarks in criticism: Marxism criticism: Pete Bunten applies a Marcxist critical reading to Othello. Look out for the practice exam question in this article.
Rhetoric and genre in The Nun’s Priest’s Tale: Jenni Nuttall shows how considering the genre of The Nun’s Priest’s Tale might be the key to Chaucer’s comedy.
If you liked this… Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh: If you enjoyed reading The Great Gatsby, Jonny Patrick recommends Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, a chronicle of a lost, glittering age that holds out the possibility of redemption through love, art and faith.
Texts in context: Educating Rita by Willy Russell: Willy Russell sets Educating Rita in his home city of Liverpool in northwest England. Originally clearly set during the city’s economic decline of the 1970s, Russell’s later revisions mean audiences can decide for themselves whether they are watching a history play or a contemporary play. This article looks at geographical and political context, social and historical context, the 2003 revised version, education Willy Russell and genre and gender.
Centenary of a cause celebre: the trial of Edith Thompson and Frederick Bywaters: Nicola Onyett looks at how the famous 1920s murder trail and execution of Edith Thompson and Frederick Bywaters have been explored in works by three very different writers: Thomas Hardy, Agatha Christie and Sarah Waters.
Unseen texts: comparative poetry: David Dunford offers insights on how to get the most out of reading two poems side by side.
Anniversaries: Shakespeare’s First Folio: the world’s most wanted book? Emma Smith argues this is a question well worth asking.
Monsters and martyrs: disability in Frankenstein and A Christmas Carol: Clare Walker Gore explores the contrasting representation of disabled characters in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Inisghts: Agatha Christie’s Ariadne Oliver: Nicola Onyett traces the links between Mrs Oliver and her Queen of Crime creator.
Looking back, moving forward: Edith Wharton and The Age of Innocence: Andrew Ward suggests that Edith Wharton’s famous turn-of-the century novel is anything but a nostalgic evocation of New York’s so-called ‘Gilded Age’.
Contemporary poets: Sam Buchan-Watts
Emagazine, December 2022
Tender masculinity in Beloved: Criticism often focuses on the women in Toni Morrison’s novel. But here Katharina Donn argues that the exploration of masculinity is equally powerful and important. Focusin especially on Paul D she shows Morrison opening up important new territory in describing the potential for a different kind of male identity.
If poems are prayers: religion in Feminine Gospels: Critic Sarah Crown looks to the title of Carol Ann Duffy’s book for a steer on what’s at stake in the collection – the poet’s offer of an alternative female-inflected spirituality.
Content inclusivity in the OED: an interview with two lexicographers: Fiona McPherson and Freia Reimink-Layfield are two members of the team who update the OED, deciding what new words to include. Here they did an email interview with emagazine about the dictionary’s ew project on ‘content inclusivity’.
Directorial decisions: Measure for Measure Act 5: Ian Todd traces changing attitudes to Isabella’s final fate by looking at how it has been presented on stage over time, starting with the Georgian period’s love of her virtue and obedience and ending up with something very different in the twenty-first century.
Metaphors and idioms in everyday communication: Gareth Carrol is an expert on idioms – or should we say, he knows them inside out, is a walking encyclopaedia and knows them like the back of his hand. Here he explains what they are, how they work and how they change over time.
My favourite linguist: We asked linguist Marcello Giovanelli which linguist had influenced him most. Who did he think English A Level Language students should know something about? He had no hesitation in choosing Professor Ronald Carter, who died in 2018.
Never Let Me Go: does creativity define the soul? In his novel, Kazuo Ishiguro argues that art is of the highest significance in what it means to be human, and yet it is undervalued in our modern society. So argues A Level student, Evie Fairclough-Kay.
What are you? Constructing identity thorugh language in a digital world: Clare Mellow explores the idea of ‘digital identity’, drawing on linguistic research to consider how we make choices that signal who we are in relation to other people and groups we identify with.
Scars upon my heart: women protesting about World War One: Simon Mold examines the work of four of the anthologised women poets. They wrote quite differently from their male counterparts, in a range of styles and voices but with a common aim – to be true to the realities of war and protest against its wrongs.
The opening of The Great Gatsby: reading closer and closer: Lisa McNally shows how reading slowly and closely can pay dividents, particularly at the beginning of a novel, and especially in a novel like The Great Gatsby. She reveals how our interest can be piqued and our critical faculties put on red alert by Nick Carraway’s choice of words and seemingly contradictory statements.
Paris: a city of stories: Varsha Shah argues that narrative is an essential element in non-fiction as well as fiction texts, as is evidenced in the AQA English Language and Literature anthology on Paris.
‘Yes, but what’s the image in that poem for? What’s it doing?’ Professor Richard Jacobs argues that figurative language (imagery) in poetry is anything but decorative – it performs a very important function in developing thoughts and feelings and helps the poet to explain an idea to themselves, as well as to the reader.
The governess of transformations: lycanthropy, intertextuality and gender in Angela Carter’s ‘Wolf’ stories: Since its publication in 1979, feminist literary critics have been intrigued by the relationship between Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber and the fairy tales which inspired this collection of short stories. Lauren Watson examines the ways in which these tales are revisited in the text’s scrutiny of gender, society, sexuality and psychology.
Become a Christian and thy loving wife: cross-cultural marriage in Shakespeare’s plays: Peter Smith ranges across a wide spectrum of plays, to show how they teem with marriages across cultural boundaries. He explores how the theme is developed in different plays and why it might be so important for the playwright.
Impressions and imitations: the problem with dialect parody: Linguist Rosemary Hall is a specialist in dialects. Here she talks about the problems associated with mimicking dialects, drawing on her own research on Bermudian English.
Trampling out the vintage: chapter 35 of The Grapes of Wrath: Amy Taylor-Davis discusses this key chapter in Steinbeck’s novel, revealing the powerful imagery of glut and waste and the political message it conveys.
Reading and pleasure: What is the relationship between ‘reading’ and ‘pleasure’? How do either or both of these words apply to what you do when you’re an A Level literature student? Andrew Green explores this challenging idea.
Dr Faustus: the laughter of the damned: Malcolm Hebron asks how we should make sense of the mix of comedy and tragedy in this strange and complicated drama and offers some compelling answers, inclding the contradictory nature of the main protagonist himself and the appetite for spectacle and humour in the theatrical experience.
The hollow men: T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land: There is not, despite the suggestion of its title, only one ‘waste land’ within Eliot’s 1922 poem: the environment acts as a blanket image whose symbolism and meaning shifts throghout the sections, depending upon his thematic focus.
English Review, November 2022
In praise of small things: C. S. Bhagya discusses how Arundhati Roy captures the violent effects of discrimination through loving attention to minor details in her Booker-Prize winning novel.
Landmarks in criticism: Laura Mulvey and the male gaze: Luke McBratney investigates the term ‘male gaze’ and considers how it might be applied to literary texts. This article briefly considers Hardy and Tess of the D’Urbervilles and male perspectives.
Inisghts: intertextuality: Nicola Onyett clarifies this key term in literary criticism.
The Great Gatsby: all that jazz: Andrew Ward explores how jazz influences the very fabric of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s best-known novel. Look out for the practice exam question in this article.
Non-exam assessments: Gaslight: Pete Bunten considers the dramatic talents of Patrick Hamilton.
Exam skills: building an argument: cohesion and coherence: Continuing our series on essay writing, Cathy O’Neill offers tips for building a convincing argument.
Texts in context: Songs of Innocence and of Experience: William Blake printed Songs of Innocence first in 1789, combining them into one volume with Songs of Experience five years later, and inviting readers to compare and contrast innocence and experience as ‘the Two Contrary states of the Human Soul’. These lyrics resis obvious interpretation and still challenge readers today. This article considers literary context, printing and production context, political and religious context and romantic context.
Haunted by James? Atonement and What Maisie Knew: Fiona Macdonald considers two novels connected by their depiction of children whose parents separate.
Loathing and longing at Alloway Kirk: women in ‘Tam o’ Shanter’: Luke McBratney considers the humour of Burns’s deptiction of women and wonders if we should be laughing.
Anniversaries: reading Heart of Darkness across time: Chiran Pandy considers critical responses to Conrad by Chinua Achebe, Tayeb Salih and Edward Said.
Imperial prototypes in Antony and Cleopatra: Cicely Havely explores how a play from 1606 anticipates tropes of imperialism defined centuries later.
If you liked this… Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton: If you enjoyed reading about Gaslight (see pp. 14-16), Pete Bunten suggests you might enjoy Hamilton’s black comedy, Hangover Square.
‘But can we wonder that… she should fall?’ Jane Austen’s fallen women: Nicola Onyett looks at the significance of the fallen woman in three novels by Jane Austen.
Contemporary poets: Vik Shirley
Emagazine, September 2022
On the edge of danger: ‘Passing’: Nicolas Tredell uncovers both the dangerous and disturbing themes of this powerful novel and the unsettling manner of its telling, showing how Larsen draws on modernist techniques of disruption and fragmentation in brilliantly innovative ways.
Documenting World Englishes in the Oxford English Dictionary: Danica Salazar explains the way in which the OED is currently treating words from the many varieties of English that exist across the globe. In doing so, she reveals the processes by which new words enter the language, gives examples from different countries and explains how the OED reseaches the different varieties.
An interview with Hannah Lowe: ‘Alive with Conflict’: Hannah Lowe was an A Level English teacher, before her success as a published poet took her away from the classroom. In 2021 her third full-lenght collection ‘The Kids’ won both the Costa Poetry Award and the Costa Book of the Year, as well as being shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. Here she is interviewed by Andrew Green, about A Level teaching, literature and her own work as a poet.
The Duchess of Malfi and the Jacobran Pamphlet Wars: Philip Smithers delves into the anti-feminist writings of the Jacobean period – along with the powerful female responses to them – to reveal the ways in which a dramatist like John Webster was responding to the passionate debates of the times about women and their behaviour.
Wuthering Heights: women on the outside: In Emily Bronte’s novel, yearnings for the natural and the wild are in conflict with the demands of a society that require these to be repressed. This choice is particularly stark and emotionally damaging for women like Catherine.
‘Poor naked wretches!’: antipathy and sympathy in Shakespeare’s politics: ‘Whose side is Shakespeare on?’ asks Peter Smith, looking across a wide range of his plays for evidence of a strong political stance. He suggests that distaste for ‘the mob’ emerges frequently in his dramatic oeuvre but finds that there is an equal lack of sympathy for those leaders who abuse their power.
So sorry about partygate: the anatomy of a convincing apology: Did Boris Johnson say sorry? Conservatist MPs have said yes. Others have disputed this. Linguist Claire Hardaer analyses his statement to the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions (12 January 2022), using Speech Act Theory to try to determine whether it constituted a genuine apology or not.
Atonement: engaging (or disengaging) with religion: Salima Abbasi Freeman suggests that, despite McEwan’s self-avowed negativity about religion, his novel is shot through with religious ideas, images and language. So why should that be and what view of human life and the possibility of salvation is offered, if religion isn’t the answer?
Fallen women and hopes of heaven: Soeur Louise de la Misericorde: John Hathaway stes this late poem by Christina Rossetti in the context of Victorian ideas about female virtue and the potential for redemption, as well as in the context of her other poetical works about women, morality and faith. He suggests that the vision in this poem is a particularly bleak one.
Blaming others, excsuing ourselves: making linguistic choices: Linguist Willem Hollmann presents the idea of self-serving bias and explores how it realted to the language choices that we all make, introducing along the way some early research ideas about gender stereotypes and politeness.
Pastoral power in The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments: Dystopian literature is synonymous with power – but the pastoral, less so. In this article, Charlotte Unsworth-Hughes applied Michael Foucault’s theorisation of ‘pastoral power’ to Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments.
Truth and lies in An Ideal Husband: Wilde’s drama is always full of delicious ironies and stylish witticisms but to what extent does this play dig deeper and make serious points about fraud, lies and political power, as well as male privege? Sean McEvoy tries to answer this question.
Hardy’s exploration of nature in Tess of the D’Urbervilles: James Allen explores Hardy’s vision of Nature, examining the ways in which his novels tackle age-old questions about the relationship between human beings and the natural world.
Tweetin’ like you talk: accent representation on social media: Here, linguist George Bailey discusses his fascinating research into the construction of online identity through the written representation of accent and dialect. He also points out the negative discourses about language that have been fuelled by this.
An interview with Shakespeare scholar Ayanna Thompson: Ayanna Thompson is an eminent scholar of Shakespeare, race, and performance, teaching at Arizona State University. ‘Right for Education’ interviews Thompson about the future of Shakespeare in contemporary society and how the plays can continue to be performed and taught in an insightful way, through adaptations and reimaginings, while warning of the risks of literature fuelling xenophobic tendencies.
Textual Count Dracula: Nathan Waddell shows how Stoker’s novel adopts a complex and intriguing narrative form that hides and obscures the main protagonist, presenting him to the reader only through documents and texts written by other people. He goes on to argue that the novel is flooded with images and ideas about textuality and the power of the text.
Let’s talk about the weather: Clare Mellor explores the language of weather forecasting, drawing on short transcripts of two different forecasters from 1979 and 2022 to make some tentative suggestions about the ways in which TV forecasting language has changed.
English Review, September 2022
A novel’s last lines: Cathy O’Neill examines how a novel’s final lines are negotiated territory. This article links to your study of Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
Insights: what is love? The case of Sethe: Chelsea Haith reflects on what historical insights can bring to a reading of the central character of Morrison’s seminal novel, Beloved.
Dystopian relaties: The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake: Clare Mellor explores the connections between two of Atwood’s dystopias and how we read them in today’s Covid world. Look out for the practice exam question in this article. This article links to your unit on Elements of political and social protest writing.
Exam skills: scripted conversation on A Streetcar Named Desire: language and literature: In the first of a new series applying approaches from English lanuage and literature to popular literary texts, Luke McBratney considers how strategies more commonly used in English language and literature can cast light on Williams’s presentation of characterisation and conflict in A Streetcar Named Desire.
Landmarks in criticism: ecocriticism: In this, the first of a new series on schools of literary criticism and applying critical perspectives, Pete Buntel delves into ecocriticism.
Anniversaries: The Waste Land: 100 years on: Andrew Atherton explores the significance of T. S. Eliot’s notes in The Waste Land.
Texts in context: Dracula by Bram Stoker: Originally published 125 years ago, Bram Stoker’s Drawcula has been absorbed into the public imagination and multiple cinematic and television adaptations have appeared over the years. This article discusses cultural, literary and historical contexts.
The madman in the attic: Cicely Havely challenges a widely accepted reading of a classic text (Jane Eyre).
Rethinking women’s soliloquies: Cathy O’Neill examines the soliloquies spoken by female characters in Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies. This article links to your study of Othello. Look out for the questions in this article.
The magic circle: characters under the writer’s microscope: What do settings of a medieval pilgrimage, a Regency romance and a classic murder mystery have in common? All allow for a group of characters in close proximity to be put under the writer’s microscope. Nicola Onyett explores how this classic trope plays out in works by Chaucer, Jane Austen and Agatha Christie.
The inactive detective: Pete Bunten examines two crime novels that treat the genre in an unusual way.
Unseen texts: myths and reality in exams: Luke McBratney offers tips and advice to encourage you to appreciate the opportunities that unseen texts provide and explodes the myths that sometimes surround them. Look out for the practice exam question in this article.
If you liked this … Endless Night by Agatha Christie: If you like the crime fiction explored by Pete Bunten in ‘The inactive detective’ on pp.34-36, you might enjoy Agatha Christie’s bleakly chilling late-career thriller Endless Night.
Contemporary poets: Fawzia Muradali Kane: Douen
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