By James Carney
Second-year English Literature and Classics student and Gale Ambassador James Carney reflects on ‘Tracing the Legacy of William Blake with British Literary Manuscripts Online’, his recent piece published in The Gale Review.
Writing this article on William Blake finally satisfied an itch that I held for quite a long time in the most effective way possible. Over the course of my studies, Blake’s name had hung in the background as some sort of enigmatic shadow that I would encounter later, when I was ready. In my A-Level English Literature class on Christina Rossetti and the pre-Raphaelites, his influence lingered but was never explicitly discussed. As I progressed to university, this ghostly influence became even more pronounced – from thematic parallels in works like J.M. Barrie’s to the shared cultural context of romanticism in studies of Wordsworth, I felt like I was gradually honing in on this mysterious figure. So, when Gale commissioned me to write an article using their British Literary Manuscripts Online, I knew exactly where my interest lay.
Continue reading Tracing the Legacy of William Blake
By Jane Elliott
The Korean TV drama Squid Game is Netflix’s most popular show ever, having reached the number one spot in ninety countries. It tells the story of a diverse group of characters, all heavily in debt, who agree to compete in a series of traditional children’s games with untraditional stakes: losers are killed and the final survivor takes the entire jackpot. Continue reading Red Light, Green Light
By Beth Potter
As I write this, by hand at first to keep things loose and free, I sit before a document on my laptop screen, a dense 39 pages of notes. Its title is ‘BBC Written Archives visit’, and I compiled it in early September during three intense – enriching, nourishing, project-broadening, but intense – days in Caversham a few weeks ago, during which my neck cracked a thousand times and no amount of shoulder rolls saved my back from the archive ache.
Continue reading On an Ecstatic Return to the Archives
By Samantha Seto
In Edith Wharton’s American novels, the heroines are part of the French aristocratic milieu. The American expatriates, Undine Spragg and Anna Leath, are situated in France and characterized by attributes that suggest French influence through literary elements such as narration and dialogue in The Custom of the Country (1913) and The Reef (1912). Wharton reveals an implicit feminism in a patriarchal society and thematic marital relations drive the plot, which indicates the conventional role for women dedicated to the social traditions of the aristocracy. The French have their own code of manners in society, idealised aesthetic of female beauty, and their honour resides in the social expectations of probity. In my narratological analysis of character identity, French cultural norms and the common French aesthetic blends into the portrayal of the primary female characters. Wharton interweaves a French theme into the narratives which shape the portraits representing aristocratic women and particularly their romantic conflicts that arise at the turn of the century. In the novels, Wharton establishes heroines characterised by attributes that belong to the French aristocracy.
Continue reading The Female Character and French Aristocracy in Edith Wharton’s ‘The Custom of the Country’ and ‘The Reef’
By Goh Wei Hao
Written during a different time, when the world was consumed by another virus, the themes of The Normal Heart remain extraordinarily relevant in today’s world.
The play is set in New York City, and takes place over a span four years in the 1980s — during the early days of the HIV epidemic when the virus did not yet have a name. It is centred around the writer Ned Weeks and the gay health advocacy group that he helped to establish along with closeted banker Bruce Niles, the free love advocate Mickey Marcus, and the self-described “Southern bitch,” Tommy Boatwright. Also part of this ragtag group is Dr Emma Brookner who pushes the group to campaign harder for their voices and her advice to be heard by the community.
After watching the 2021-revival of Larry Kramer’s largely autobiographical play, a question lingers in my mind: What does it mean to be a moral gay man?
Continue reading ‘The Normal Heart’ and the Morality of Being Gay