"Essenced to language": the margins of Isaac Rosenberg

Al-Joulan, Nayef Ali (1999) "Essenced to language": the margins of Isaac Rosenberg. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b1810728

Abstract

Isaac Rosenberg was more than just a war poet, and a general failure to take this into
consideration has contributed to the belated recognition of the distinctions of his
work. He started writing long before the Great War and, as a working-class London
Jew, he schooled himself to respond to issues of class, culture, art and poetry. It was
this combination of dependency and self-sufficiency which sustains his mature work;
and which gave him a sense of himself as an Anglo-Jewish poet.
In order to illuminate Rosenberg, Chapter One considers the conditions ofthe Jewish
community in the East End of London at the turn of the century, and examines the
writer's attitudes to the Zionism in vogue at the time. Chapter Two investigates the
striking echoes of Freudian psychology which feature in Rosenberg's work, and
which are related to the Jewish heritage of both writers. Chapter Three investigates
Rosenberg's feminine principle, suggesting that, as part of an Orphic vision of art, it
fused an allegorical 'female god', with seductive females familiar from Jewish
narratives, effectively combining English and Hebrew cultures.
Chapter Four traces Rosenberg's working-class literary heritage, and suggests that
his treatment of class differs from his Gentile contemporaries in that it parallels
Freudian and Marxist perceptions, while manifesting a modem Jewish insight.
Chapter Five details the role class and race played in the critical marginalising of
Rosenberg; special attention is given to the 'Georgian' literary ideals of the period,
against which Rosenberg reacted and which influenced his reputation and the
reception of his poetry. Chapter Six focuses on Rosenberg's debts of origin, and his
'anxiety of influence', uncovering his revision of his precursors, in light of a modem
urban, and Jewish perspective. The thesis concludes by examining Rosenberg's idea
of language as a vehicle for mental essence, suggesting that the roots for this
perception lie in the painter's mind, along with class and race associations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Pascoe, Dr. David
Date of Award: 1999
Depositing User: Ms Dawn Pike
Unique ID: glathesis:1999-4946
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2014 12:25
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2014 12:25
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4946

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