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The endurance of ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’

The endurance of ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’

Morton, John ORCID: 0000-0002-9089-7450 (2018) The endurance of ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. Tennyson Research Bulletin, 11 (2).

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Abstract

Although many of Alfred Tennyson’s poems have received more critical attention, it is arguable that ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ is still his most widely remembered poem. Yet its meaning remains the subject of no small amount of scholarly disagreement, despite its apparently being written in response to an article in The Times which asked, ‘What is the meaning of a spectacle so strange, so terrific, so disastrous, and yet so grand?’ (‘London, Tuesday’) Via a consideration of three contemporary poems about the charge, by Hollie McNish, Andrew Motion and Ciaran Carson, which have until now received scant critical attention, this article will demonstrate that, while Motion shows how easy it is for contemporary literature to reinscribe the centrality of canonical works, it is nonetheless possible for a contemporary poet to overcome the oppression of the canon through innovation – via Ciaran Carson’s re-presenting nineteenth-century prose, the original source material for Tennyson’s famous poem, as poetry.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tennyson, poetry, Victorian rewriting, reception, Andrew Motion, Hollie McNish, Ciaran Carson, NeoVictorian
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Literature, Language & Theatre
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 09:09
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 2
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/21887

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