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A geography of ghosts: the spectral landscapes of Mary Butts

[journal article]

Matless, David

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Abstract The paper considers the writings of Mary Butts (1890—1937) to explore a geography of ghosts. After examining earlier geographical engagements with the spectral and magical, and outlining the terms of recent scholarly debate concerning spectrality, the paper introduces Butts' life and work, focussing on her ghostly writings in stories, novels, journals, autobiography and an essay on the supernatural in fiction. Butts' discussion of magic and place, and her accounts of the landscapes of Dorset and west Cornwall, demonstrate a version of spectral landscape conveying enchantment, secret meaning and a culturally select geography. The paper concludes by considering Butts in relation to current discussions of spectral geography.
Free Keywords ghosts; geography; Mary Butts; spectrality;
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 335-357
Journal Cultural Geographies, 15 (2008) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)