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The Geopoetics of Modernism$
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Rebecca Walsh

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813060514

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813060514.001.0001

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H.D.’s Trilogy as Transnational Palimpsest

H.D.’s Trilogy as Transnational Palimpsest

(p.124) 5 H.D.’s Trilogy as Transnational Palimpsest
The Geopoetics of Modernism

Rebecca Walsh

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on the strategic use of environmental determinism in H.D.’S World War II epic Trilogy. This academic paradigm and geographical discourse gives H.D., an American expatriate, the tools to be at one with the British civilian populace: to be shaped by the British environment makes the poet-speaker a part of the culture to which the environment is tethered. Through a logic of landscape transitivity traced in the chapter, H.D. also claims access to Egypt and its uplifting spiritual and mythological materials through a connection to the Egyptian landscape. The chapter argues that this, in turn, produces a sort of empire vertigo that partly registers sensitivity to Egypt’s contemporary colonial status and partly replicates the orientalist moves of Egyptian travel writers H.D. had read.

Keywords:   H.D, Trilogy, World War II, environmental determinism, Ellen Churchill Semple, Geography of the Mediterranean Region, Bryher, Picture Geography for Children, expatriatism, England, Egypt, orientalism

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