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Negotiating Home in the Work of Derek Mahon and Sarah Kirsch

  • Nicola Thomas
Chapter
Part of the Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies book series (GSLS)

Abstract

Derek Mahon and Sarah Kirsch share a cultural affiliation with the politically ‘divided’ spaces of Ireland and Germany respectively. This chapter examines the representations of these spaces in their poetry, showing how these representations participate in and contribute to discourses of home, community and world. Conspicuously absent in both cases is the ‘grand narrative’ of national identity or overt political affiliation. Instead, both poets consciously pay attention to alternative spaces—the overlooked, marginalised and quotidian—as a means of subverting dominant discourses. The work of Bachelard, a key influence on Mahon in particular, provides a theoretical context for their discussion of domestic space, and de Certeau’s theories of the practices of everyday life help to make sense of their rejection of established, normative spatial representations.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.St Hilda’s CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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