Brightness and unfixity: reframing epiphany in Oswald's Woods etc

Dixon, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7932-8348, 2019. Brightness and unfixity: reframing epiphany in Oswald's Woods etc. C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-Century Writings, 7 (1), pp. 1-21. ISSN 2045-5224

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Epiphany in contemporary British poetry is perceived by some poets and critics, often those who self-identify as being outside of the mainstream, as a uniform, coercive, teleological, and unchallenging literary mode. This article intervenes in these debates to show how mainstream contemporary poetry, like its more experimental and avant-garde counterparts, also disrupts the traditional epiphanic paradigm. Through new critical readings of selected poems from Alice Oswald's collection Woods etc. (2005), this article argues for a reframing that comprises epiphanies of ‘brightness’ and 'unfixity' and resists a teleological reading of this deep-rooted literary mode. It proposes that these poems offer a new way of thinking about epiphany as an ongoing process of revelation in contrast to the more familiar and well-established singular moment of insight.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-Century Writings
Creators: Dixon, J.
Publisher: Open Library of Humanities
Date: 2019
Volume: 7
Number: 1
ISSN: 2045-5224
Rights: © 2019 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 20 Sep 2019 11:46
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2019 12:00

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