Unnoticed in the Casual Light of Day
Phillip Larkin and the Plain Style
Larkin's poems are often regarded as falling somewhere between the traditional 'plain' and the more contemporary 'postmodern' categories. This study undertakes a comprehensive linguistic and historical study of the plain style tradition in poetry, its relationship with so-called 'difficult' poetry, and its particular realization in the cultural and historical context of 20th-century Britain. The author examines the nature of poetry as a type of discourse, the elements of, and factors in, the development of literary styles, a close rhetorical examination of Larkin's poems within the described poetic frameworks, and his position in the British twentieth-century poetic canon.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Introduction: Raising the Questions 1. Literature, Language, Plainness, and the Plain Style Traditions 2. Larkin in Context 3. Rhetorical Strategies I 4. Rhetorical Strategies II 5. Themes Conclusion: Larkin's Own Blend Notes. Bibliography. Index