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Ted Hughes and Trauma : Burning the Foxes (Hardcover) (Danny O'Connor)
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This book is a radical re-appraisal of thepoetry of Ted Hughes, placing him in the context of continental theorists suchas Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida and Slavoj Zizek to address the traumas ofhis work. As an undergraduate, Hughes was visited in his sleep by a burntfox/man who left a bloody handprint on his essay, warning him of the dangers ofliterary criticism. Hereafter, criticism became ‘burning the foxes’. This bookoffers a defence of literary criticism, drawing Hughes’ poetry and prose intothe network of theoretical work he dismissed as ‘the tyrant’s whisper’ bydemonstrating a shared concern with trauma.
Covering a wide range of Hughes’ work, itexplores the various traumas that define his writing. Whether it is comparinghis idea of man as split from nature with that of Jacques Lacan, consideringhis challenging relationship with language in light of Roland Barthes andJacques Derrida, seeing him in the art gallery and at the movies with GillesDeleuze, or considering his troubled relationship with femininity in regard toTeresa Brennan and Slavoj Žižek, Burningthe Foxes offers a fresh lookat a familiar poet.