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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

The Persistence of Beauty Public Lecture Series - 'Beauty in Trouble': Robert Graves and Louis MacNeice

1st May 2012, 18:15 to 19:15, Room 140, Elvet Riverside Building, New Elvet, Dr Fran Brearton (Queen's University Belfast)

This is part of The Persistence of Beauty Public Lecture Series.  (Rescheduled from 6 March)

Starting from the premise that values associated with ‘beauty’ by the Georgians found themselves in trouble when confronted by the brutal realities of the First World War, and the political upheavals of 1914-22, this lecture traces ways in which Robert Graves and Louis MacNeice re-evaluated the concept of beauty in the post-war period, and into the Second World War. In doing so, both, in different ways, also addressed the profound yet problematical influence of W.B. Yeats and the enduring strains in Irish and British poetic culture of an1890s aestheticism. Refusing to give up on the idea of beauty, but compelled to reinvent it in a changed cultural landscape, the ways in which they negotiate the term reverberate in the politics of form and language, and, as MacNeice put it, in ‘the relationship of poetry to life’.

All welcome to attend.


Contact for more information about this event.