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Cartographies of Culture

New Geographies of Welsh Writing in English

Maps have long been a source of inspiration for imaginative writers, and Cartographies of Culture offers a pioneering new examination of the long-standing links between the two. Damian Walford Davies focuses on the Anglophone literature of and offers a boldly imaginative and stringently theorized analysis of five literary “maps.” In the process, he sets up an innovative dialogue between literary studies and geography that generates a genuinely interdisciplinary study of literary texts in relation to the spatial aspects of culture. What emerges is nothing less than a new way of reading literature through, and as, maps.

324 pages | 9 color plates, 43 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2012

University of Wales Press - Writing Wales in English

Geography: Cartography

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

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“Richly researched, wide-ranging, and theoretically innovative, Cartographies of Culture charts the multiple spaces and projections of the literary geography of Wales. Through insightful studies of familiar and less familiar authors, from Wordsworth and Gerard Manley Hopkins to Brenda Chamberlain and Waldo Williams, this book explores shifting shores and border crossings, and the implication of wider worlds, from biblical Palestine to the theatre of the Korean War, in the geographical imagination of Wales. Cartographies of Culture will cross many disciplinary borders in its exploration of the poetics and politics of mapping and its capacity as a creative medium, of work and image, both material and metaphorical to make sense of a fluent, manifold world.”

Stephen Daniels, University of Nottingham

“Critics of Welsh writing in English have long recognized its engagement with specific places, specific landscapes. In Cartographies of Culture, Professor Damian Walford Davies shifts the focus from places and landscapes to the maps that reflect them, to cartography as a modality ‘immanent in the work itself and crucial to its cultural and historical distinctiveness.’ Looking closely at particular works by four writers in a variety of genres, Cartographies of Culture demonstrates the range and resonance of the cartographic imagination and extends our understanding of the borders and boundaries of Anglo-Welsh writing.”

Michael Collins, Georgetown University

Cartographies of Culture is an important and valuable contribution to the ‘geographical turn’ in literary criticism. Resisting a critical tendency to approach cartography as metaphor, Damian Walford Davies is fascinated by maps as historical artifacts and mapping as a hermeneutic process. The two come together in a series of literary mappings of various, often surprising, textual and topographical terrains, in which the author demonstrates a minute attentiveness of which a cartographer would be proud.”

Rachel Hewitt, Wolfson College, University of Oxford

Table of Contents

General Editor’s Preface
List of Illustrations

Introduction: Triangulating Welsh Writing in English
1. Mapping Borders: ’Tintern Abbey’ and Literary Hydrography
2. Mapping the Miracle: Hopkins and the Psychocartography of Welsh Space
3. Mapping Islandness: Brenda Chamberlain’s Celtic Archipelagos
4. Mapping Moatedness: Brenda Chamberlain’s European Archipelagos
5. Mapping Partition: Waldo Williams, ’In Two Fields’, and the 38th Parallel
Conclusion: The Digital Literary Atlas of Wales


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