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‘It was suddenly hard winter’: Crossing the Field with John Burnside

  • Julian Wolfreys
Chapter

Abstract

John Burnside’s poetry and fiction presents the reader with an awkward, uncanny sense of haunted Being. It achieves this through forcing on the reader moments of suspension—epoché in the sense given this word by German phenomenologist Edmund Husserl—which both present and enact shifts in perception of the relationship between self and other, subject and world, memory and the past, which discomforts in its suspension of narrative time as it opens up a phenomenological apperception of Being through the multiple figure of the act of crossing—between past and present, self and other, memory and forgetfulness. The self in Burnside is always a haunted locus, the non-urban landscape often the site of such spectral experience and event. In each example, there is an irreversible transformation of human understanding that foregrounds the condition of Being in its seemingly paradoxical haunted materiality.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Wolfreys
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PortsmouthBembridgeUK

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