Introduction to the Special Thematic Block: British Seaside Resorts and Their Representation in Literature and Cinema

The Seaside Resort as Entrapment and Escape in British Cinema

British cinema has portrayed seaside resorts throughout its history with much dedication. Films featured both residents and visitors, the providers and the consumers of the seaside experience decade after decade by focusing on the synergies between space and identity. This article explores Brighton Rock (John Boulting, 1948), The Entertainer (Tony Richardson, 1960), The Birthday Party (William Friedkin, 1968), Quadrophenia (Franc Roddam, 1979), Bhaji on the Beach (Gurinder Chadha, 1993), and Last Resort (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2000) as representative examples of how the motifs of escape and entrapment—as manifested in the pursuit of various imaginations, ideals, rites of passage and identity quests—changed through the decades that also saw a gradual decline in the popularity of seaside resorts. The fading reputation and eroding image of resorts is analyzed parallel with the identity crises of characters entrapped in subcultural, diasporic, and migrant environments. (ZsGy)

Acknowledging Hybridity

Book review:

Oliete-Aldea, Elena. Hybrid Heritage on Screen: The “Raj Revival” in the Thatcher Era. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. ix + 227 pages. ISBN 978-1-137-46396-8. $95.00.

Editor’s Notes

Editor’s Notes

Representation of Young People in British Films Set in Coastal Resorts

This article examines representations of young people in three recent films set in British seaside resorts: Jellyfish (2018), directed by James Gardner Vs. (2018), directed by Ed Lilly, and Eaten by Lions (2018), directed by Jason Wingard, in light of the fact that in the past few decades resorts have been seen as places from which young people try to escape, rather than go to.  My essay shows how the experience of those who visit the resorts is different from that of those who live there. It considers the production values, characters, stories, and locations of these films, drawing on secondary research on coastal resorts and their cinematic representations, Erving Goffman’s taxonomy of spaces into “front” and “back regions,” and Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of the carnivalesque. The article also links the representation of the resort itself to wider discourses about England, class, and race. (EM)

Preserving Past Tastes

Book review:

Wall, Wendy. Recipes for Thought: Knowledge and Taste in the Early Modern English Kitchen. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2016. 328 pages. ISBN 9780812247589. $69.95.

Critical Wounds, Sutured

Book review:

Veprinska, Anna. Empathy in Contemporary Poetry after Crisis. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020. 203 pages. ISBN 978-3-030-34319-4. Hb. €74.89.

Screen Writing the Border: Eugene McCabe, RTÉ, and the Victims Trilogy

This essay explores the images and settings of the border narratives in Eugene McCabe’s television screenplays for his Victims trilogy, a three-part series broadcast by RTÉ in 1976. The series was based on McCabe’s own short stories, “Cancer,” “Heritage,” and “Victims”—which became known as the “Fermanagh trilogy”—written separately in the 1970s but published collectively as Christ in the Fields (1993). The essay argues that living on and writing out of his borderlands farm, near Clones, Co. Monaghan, McCabe experienced a condition that I term “borderliness,” which is structured into his writing about this area and the region more widely. I identify this condition by the presence of four thematic tropes that echo and interlace with each other across his screenplays. Making use of archival research in RTÉ, the essay analyzes draft script and screen realization, and supporting production material, focusing on the central, pivotal episode, Heritage, before it reaches its conclusion by drawing on adaptation theory and the conceit of the palimpsest to compare the screenplay and prose fiction versions. (LP)

A Heart’s Pledge in Metaerotopoetics

Book review:

Gray, Erik. The Art of Love Poetry. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2018. 210 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-875297-4. Hb. £50.00.