thesis_access.pdf (3.24 MB)
Download file

"Between two worlds become much like each other": Liminal spaces in the poetry of David Jones and T.S. Eliot

Download (3.24 MB)
posted on 14.11.2021, 08:28 by Chimirri, Cara Cordelia

T. S Eliot remains a literary giant close to fifty years after his death while David Jones, in contrast, is undeniably a marginal figure in the world of poetry but one who is slowly gaining a larger profile. Jones has from the very beginning been aligned with Eliot by virtue of Eliot’s own comments and by a succession of critics who cast him as Eliot’s disciple. The time has come, however, for the side notes to Eliot, which have become almost a convention of Jonesian criticism, to be expanded into a detailed comparative study between his and Eliot’s work. Eliot scholars appear to show no interest in pursuing comparisons to Jones, as he is hardly mentioned, even in passing, in discussions of Eliot’s work. This too, is something that deserves to be reassessed. Undertaking a new approach to Jones-Eliot comparisons develops Jones criticism and opens up a new branch of Eliot studies. This thesis repositions Jones and Eliot from the way they have, thus far, been critically related to one another by focusing on liminal space in both poets’ major texts: The Anathemata, In Parenthesis, The Waste Land, and Four Quartets. This threshold space can be found in their landscapes and in the way they adapt poetic techniques, such as imagery and juxtapositions of irreconcilable opposites. The between-space of transition manifested in their texts reflects the wider environment of flux and transition Jones and Eliot experienced in the first half of the twentieth century. Using the work of a range of literary critics, historians, philosophers, and geographers, including Arnold van Gennep, Victor Turner, Michel Foucault, Edward W. Soja, Michel de Certeau, Andrew Thacker, Thomas Dilworth, David Harvey, and Stephen Kern, establishes a spatially focused model of liminality which facilitates a close reading of these spaces in Jones’s and Eliot’s work.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

English Literature

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970120 Expanding Knowledge in Languages, Communication and Culture

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies


Ricketts, Harry