Memoirs for the Earth: Jacquetta Hawkes's literary experiments in deep time

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article is concerned with the narration of earth processes in stories of a younger world. It centres on A Land (1951), the most notable published work of Jaquetta Hawkes, archaeologist, prehistorian, writer and journalist. The land under examination is Britain, and its island story becomes her story too. The book unfolds as an unconventional geological history of regional scenery, prehistoric life and rock formations that is at the same time an impressionistic portrayal of self through the ecstatic physical apprehension of earth forces and environmental fields. For Hawkes the storyteller, mineral memories and body memories are unlocked in tandem. This article shows how such an experimental narrative is enabled through unexpected temporal shifts, suggesting a continuum of consciousness across diverse life forms, and explores the cultural conditions, psychological theories and personal circumstances that served to inspire Hawkes the author. In the closing stages of the article, the author enters into the spirit of Hawkes?s narrative style, featuring as protagonist as well as commentator.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-106
Number of pages20
JournalCultural Geographies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


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