Lafarge, Daisy (2021) LOVEBUG. DFA thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


LOVEBUG is a book of nonfiction concerned with how we think and speak about infection,
and what it means to be infected or parasitised by someone or something. Although this strikes a particular chord in the present moment, LOVEBUG was conceived of prior to the global pandemic, and is the outcome of my doctoral research into zoonotic diseases (those passed from animals to humans), begun in 2016.

In Illness as Metaphor Susan Sontag railed against the military metaphor in relation to disease and infection. Since then, this metaphorical ‘war’ on germs and microbial life seems to have become even more engrained. Partly written as a response to Sontag’s essay, from my own position as a poet and novelist concerned with language, LOVEBUG takes the position that metaphor is foundational to the way we think and speak, and so cannot be fully removed from language. If, as Sontag asks, we do away with the military metaphor, our need for metaphorical understanding will shift elsewhere.

This ‘elsewhere’ is exactly the metaphorical and interdisciplinary space that LOVEBUG seeks to inhabit. Rather than depicting microbial life as a mob of invisible enemies, the book considers infection from the perspective of intimacy, as an antagonistic relationship that has evolved between organisms. What does it mean to make a home inside of another being? Is parasitism a fixed biological state, or are all organisms – including humans – capable of this behaviour?

In a time of climate crisis, and increased circulation of pathogens around the world, addressing this paradox from a variety of perspectives – resisting the binary view of C.P. Snow’s infamous ‘Two Cultures’ of the sciences and the humanities – becomes essential. LOVEBUG moves between disciplines to reach towards a more nuanced, and ecologically-informed view of whatit means to live in a world beyond our control, and how to dwell alongside what may harm us.

Item Type: Thesis (DFA)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions this thesis is not available for viewing.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies
Supervisor's Name: Strachan, Dr. Zoe
Date of Award: 2021
Embargo Date: 19 October 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82521
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2021 15:27
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 17:07
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82521

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