Geographical Memory, Machine Technology and the Ecological Poetics: Rewriting the Environment in Remains of Elmet

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Chaiyon Tongsukkaeng


By incorporating the actuality of childhood landscapes with his poetic imagination, Ted Hughes recreates a cultural geography which unfolds social and historical significance through the ecological language. Remains of Elmet is a product of rewriting geographical memory as much as considering the influences of the Industrial Revolution and war experience in the Yorkshire environment. This paper aims to examine Hughes’ poetic creativity by investigating poems in relation to a discussion of environmental transformations by technology and war. The study shows that the legacy of war is palpable in the reinterpretation of the landscapes intervened by social and historical changes in the cultural memorial of cenotaph. With emphasis on values, Hughes’ poetry reveals his affinity with his environment seen as natural resources such as stones and rocks, in line with Heidegger’s question of the instrumentality. Moreover, the language of metaphor and the register of the body inform Hughes’ keen observation of human community and non-human nature which are re-imagined ecocritically.


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Author Biography

Chaiyon Tongsukkaeng

Chaiyon Tongsukkaeng is currently a PhD Candidate at School of English, University of Leeds. He is a lecturer at Department of Western Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Maha Sarakham University. His research interests include Ecocriticism and Literature of Environment, English and American Poetry and Thai literature.


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