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Awen, Barddas, and the Age of Blake

Description: Studies of William Blake's poetry have historically paid little attention to the Welsh literary context of his time, especially the bardic lore (barddas), in spite of the fact that he considered himselfto be a bard and created an epic cosmos in which the bardic had exalted status. Of particular importance is the Welsh concept of the awen, which can be thought of as "the muse," but which must not be limited to the Greek understanding of the term For the Welsh, the awen had to do with the Christian concept of the Holy Spirit, and beyond that, with the poet's connection with his inspiration, or genius, whether Christian of otherwise. This study explores the idea of inspiration as it evolves from the Greek idea of the Muse, as it was perceived in the Middle Ages by Welsh writers, and as it came to be understood and utilized by writers in the Age of Blake.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Franklin, William Neal
Partner: UNT Libraries

Alcoholism and the Family: The Destructive Forces in Hardy's Tess of the D'urbervilles

Description: This study examines the forces which shaped the main character--Tess Durbeyfield--in Hardy's novel in terms of the effects which her alcoholic family had upon her mental and emotional potential and which ultimately become the determining factors in her self-destruction. Using the elements and patterns set forth in the literature regarding the dynamics of the alcoholic family, I attempt to show that Hardy's novel may best be understood as the story of a woman whose life and destiny are controlled by the consequences of her father's alcoholism. This interpretation seems to account best for many elements of the novel, such as Tess's destruction, and provides a rich appreciation of Hardy's technique and vision.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Alexander, Elizabeth Chenoweth
Partner: UNT Libraries