This study offers a comprehensive examination of the work of the young poet and scholar, Veronica Forrest-Thomson (1947-1975) in the context of a literary-critical revolution of the late sixties and seventies and evaluates her work against contemporary debates in poetry and poetics. Gareth Farmer explores Forrest-Thomson's relationship to the conflicting models of literary criticism in the twentieth century such as the close-reading models of F.R Leavis and William Empson, postructuralist models, and the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Written by the leading scholar on Forrest-Thomson's work, this study explores Forrest-Thomson's published work as well as unpublished materials from the Veronica Forrest-Thomson Archive. Drawing on close readings of Forrest-Thomson's writings, this study argues that her work enables us reevaluate literary-critical history and suggests new paradigms for the literary aesthetics and poetics of the future.
Gareth Farmer is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Bedfordshire, UK and a poet. He has written essays on a range of modern and contemporary experimental writers and on literary and critical theory. He is the Senior Academic Consultant to the Veronica Forrest-Thomson Archive at Girton College Library, Cambridge.
1 Introduction - Poet on the Periphery.- 2 The Reluctant Radical: Identi-kit and Uncollected Early Poems.- 3 Cambridge, Verbal Hiccups and Iambics: twelve academic questions and Language-Games.- 4 Poetic Artifice and the Defence of Form.- 5 Simplicity and Complexity in the Quest for Style.- 6 Control and Excess in the Quest for 'Writing Straight'.- 7 Coda - The Risks of 'freedom, truth and skill'.