This study discusses Adcock as a writer who draws on her experiences of dislocation in order to position herself between cultures. Contrasting her work with that of the post-war British poetic mainstream with which she has been associated, it emphasises that the radically displaced feminised consciousness which negotiates the boundaries between self and other can be identified in Adcock’s poetry as metonymic of resolving national and cultural differences. Wilson argues that displaced voices such as hers from white settler colonies like New Zealand now belong to multicultural Britain. Her close readings of Adcock’s verse in terms of its ironic double vision focus on the blend of classical restraint, wit, and humour, in relation to her complex revaluation of the diasporic imaginary of the exile. Claiming that Adcock’s personal mythology, based on her divided nationality and gendered consciousness, recalls writers like Jane Austen and her fellow expatriate, Katherine Mansfield, Wilson argues that the best of her work transcends the immediate problems of her age.
Janet Wilson is a New Zealander who taught at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and has been at University College Northampton since 1998. She is currently editor of a postcolonial journal, World Wide Writing. She has written extensively on medieval literature and New Zealand writing.
216 × 138 × 9 mm
December 13, 2007
Writers and their Work