University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

The Gannet’s Skull Versus the Plastic Doll’s Head: Material ‘Value’ in Kathleen Jamie’s ‘Findings’

Marland, Pippa (2015) The Gannet’s Skull Versus the Plastic Doll’s Head: Material ‘Value’ in Kathleen Jamie’s ‘Findings’. Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, 19 (2). pp. 121-131. ISSN Print: 1468-8417 Online: 2168-1414

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This article focuses on Kathleen Jamie’s exploration, in the essay ‘Findings’, of her encounters with a range of material ‘things’ that litter the landscapes of the Outer Hebrides. I argue that her use of metaphor and simile establishes interconnections between material substances of all kinds, but that through discussion of the objects she chooses to keep, Jamie suggests that we are most drawn to things that are ‘transformed by death or weather’. At the same time the narrative conjures a sense of the uncanny around plastic waste. A doll’s head emerges as doubly uncanny: a ghost of human consumerism, resistant to processes of decay, which is also able to evoke in us a sense of being scrutinised by the very materials we have created and junked. It serves to remind us of the importance of questioning what kinds of materialities we ‘value’ in the world in which we are immersed.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Kathleen Jamie, New Nature Writing, new materialisms, material ecocriticism, material affect, the uncanny, value
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
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Depositing User: Pippa Marland
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2019 19:20
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:30

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