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). Having outlined the religious content of the Siege of Melayne, I will suggest that it can be seen as representative of what one might call ‘devotional romance’ (that is, a chivalric narrative with pronounced spiritual or theological content), and will briefly compare some examples. While the category of ‘devotional romance’ may be useful to modern readers, it is nonetheless crucial to note that the manuscript context shows the extent to which medieval readers were unfettered by generic constraints. The combination and juxtaposition of texts within medieval manuscript

in Pulp fictions of medieval England
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Ben Okri, Chenjerai Hove, Dambudzo Marechera

the postcolony. (The vice versa case, too, applies.) As in Mbembe’s depiction, the fantastical aspects of lived existence in the postcolony can in Okri appear completely to detach characters’ experience from the dimensions of a recognisably real world, although in a way that Okri, unlike Mbembe, might contend has spiritual plausibility. This chapter will end with a more detailed discussion of Okri’s early dystopian work, as it is in these texts, perhaps more intensively so than in the work of his contemporaries, that the unavoidable metaphoricity of national (and

in Stories of women
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. Egan, on the other hand, represented the new ambulatory observer attempting to capture the dislocating experiences of the metropolis by first-hand observation. Theoretical knowledge – that derived from the closet – was incapable of ascertaining real life; the object of his heroes was to see its quotidian plurality through direct experience of London’s streets and diverse haunts

in The other empire
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trace, in broad terms, ideas and thought patterns that can be used helpfully to contextualise and to read Ford. Many of these issues, ideas and thought patterns will be returned to in greater detail later in the book. The attempt to recognise gaps between parts of the self is powerfully resonant in the early modernist era: ‘For both James and Dostoevsky, reality lay in human consciousness and the fathomless workings of the mind’.1 We know from James’s ‘Chamber of Consciousness’, in which suspends the spider-web of experience ‘catching every air-borne particle’,2 and

in Fragmenting modernism
The poetics of sustainability and the politics of what we’re sustaining

change that, once instigated, sustains itself. Using one of Eliot’s key symbols, Graham freights contemporary personal experience with the environmental processes that are beyond our grasp, both physically and mentally, when she invites us to use his image of dust (Eliot 2015 [1922]: 55) as a tactile model for ocean circulation, making the original spiritual connotations of that dust materially manifest. This represents a further engagement with the concerns Vendler identified in Graham’s earlier work, of ‘[h]ow to give bodily perception its due in thought’ (1995: 96

in Literature and sustainability
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hospitals to serve overseas, were deeply frustrated at the knowledge that semi-trained volunteers were working in base hospitals close to the Western Front, while they themselves were effectively trapped in civilian practice.3 Realising war’s realities Some works, such as Kate Finzi’s Eighteen Months in the War Zone and Lesley Smith’s Four Years out of Life, illustrate the extent to which, even whilst being influenced by war propaganda, volunteers 188 The British ‘VAD’ could feel compelled to give faithful accounts of their experiences that actually undermined that

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
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popular imagination. It involved more spheres of human experience than perhaps any previous conflict. Whole populations were caught up in it and exhibited myriad shades of reaction to it – including, naturally, opposition. This book concentrates on those individualistic British citizens whose motivation for opposition in thought or deed was grounded upon moral, humanistic or aesthetic precepts. There have been previous studies based around specific British religious or political conscientious objection to the war but none concentrating on any existing moral, humanistic

in A war of individuals
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Gender and a new politics in Achebe

by power, once included, how is she to retain that force for good? Is it because essentialised woman is by definition a do-gooder? Putting this the other way about, if the faith in an alternative female rule depends on the stereotypical symbol or idea of woman as inspirer and spiritual guide, does that idea have much hope of practical application? Paradoxes such as these emerge out of the uneasy co-existence in Achebe between two conceptions of national politics. On the one hand lies his political cynicism – not to say pessimism – which dominates the greater part of

in Stories of women
Nonconformist religion in nineteenth-century pacifism

love of the Bible; and crucicentrism, a focus on the atoning sacrifice made by Christ on the cross. A number of feminists in this period (Josephine Butler being a prominent example) identified conversion experiences that turned them towards religious and philanthropic work.2 Women’s religious ‘mission’ was borne out by activism, not only in the sense of spreading the gospel but also, throughout the mid- to late nineteenth century, through social work and philanthropy. The two were, for Victorian society, closely intertwined. Women did much of the district visiting

in ‘The truest form of patriotism’
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The wall texts of a Percy family manuscript and the Poulys Daunce of St Paul’s Cathedral

late-medieval England order to provide more accessible experiences to wider audiences. Rewards might even be considered greater for those who travelled mentally as opposed to physically, for the mental travellers received their rewards for this spiritual labour from God alone.67 Yet the continued popularity of pilgrimage in the later Middle Ages challenges the valuation thus placed upon mental pilgrimage. As Kathryne Beebe observes, ‘Pilgrimage in spirit perhaps drew basic inspiration from a fundamental ambivalence within Christian thought about the merits of going

in Participatory reading in late-medieval England