The Quick

Haynes, Laura (2021) The Quick. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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


The Quick is an autotheoretical narrative thesis—a hybrid work of biography, memoir and essay—and a meditation on the figure of the mother, the postpartum matrescence, grief and loss, domestic coercion and state control. It is concerned with the mother figure within neoliberalist systems of value, the unyielding myth of maternal virtue and the factions of, and between, creative production and reproductive labour in the context of socio-politically controlled conduct.

The figure of the mother emerges from expectation, her identity is produced from heavily regulated practices and her sentience ascribed from the metaphorical figures or mythological subjects used to signify particular representational modes. Therefore, the thesis is a biomythographical undertaking and its questions are characterised and situated in the biomythographies of Audre Lorde (1934-1992) Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, Chantal Akerman (1950-2015), Doris Lessing (1919-2013), Agnes Martin (1912-2004) and Tillie Olsen (1912-2007), and extended within autobiographical non-fiction and critical theory.
Multiple narratives and fictions coexist to form portraits of ‘waywardness’ that are studied apropos the writing and theories of Jacqueline Rose, Adrienne Rich, Lisa Downing, D. W. Winnicott and Rose Laub Coser, examining the political divisions of the home plot and mother as fettered subject position.

The thesis includes: The Quick, a lyric essay in three parts; ‘Topologies of Syncope’, a Critical Afterword; an Index of key figures, diction and synonyms and an Addendum of works cited, credits, glossary and endnotes. The architecture of The Quick connects variant genres: critical memoir, reportage, biography, art and literary history and criticism. The thesis methodologically considers the personal-political as contemporary post-critical device and literary genre, examining the politic of bricolage within the personal essay and of the composed interrelationships between the positional autobiographical, the theoretical and forms of institutional or ideological critique. The Quick—in its topological multiplicities and associative dream of wayward mothers—operates as a meta-critique or metonym of its own means, where a primary concern is how first-person observation, inflected by affect, intimacy and the quotidian, acts as a crucial intervention in the means, production and historiography of art, literature and its discourses.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies
Supervisor's Name: Reeder, Dr. Elizabeth and Smith, Professor Sarah
Date of Award: 2021
Embargo Date: 20 October 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82524
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2021 07:25
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2021 14:33
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82524

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item