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Writing his way through grief in Scottish Gaelic: Christopher Whyte’s poems to Maria-Mercè Marçal



Montserrat Lunati Maruny


Monday, November 12, 2018 - 12:00pm


Pigott Hall (Bldg. 260), Room 252




Writing his way through grief in Scottish Gaelic: Christopher Whyte’s poems to Maria-Mercè Marçal

In 1998, Catalan poet Maria-Mercè Marçal died of cancer, aged 45. At that time, Scottish writer and academic Christopher Whyte was living in Barcelona. They had been close friends through her illness and, after her death, he wrote six mourning poems in Scottish Gaelic, the language he favors for his poetry. This lecture, which is indebted to Jacques Derrida’s views on death, mourning and friendship, will focus on this collection of poems, whose title is ‘Leabhar Nach Deach A Sgrìobhadh: In memoriam Maria-Mercè Marçal, 11.XI.1952-5.VII. 1998’ [‘A Book Unwritten: In memoriam Maria-Mercè Marçal, 11.XI.1952-5.VII. 1998’].
Montserrat Lunati Maruny taught at the School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University and is now an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the same university, and an Honorary Reader at the University of St. Andrews. Her research focuses on literature and visual media in contemporary Catalan and Spanish cultures, particularly on women’s production, as well as the textualization of illness and mourning; mother-daughter relationships; the (re)construction of the historical and cultural past through memory, perception and affect; the conversations that can be established between women writers from different periods, especially in relation to the representation of the ‘body’ and the construction of an (im)possible female genealogy; sexual and war trauma and its effects, especially on children, and the relevance of ironic discourse to cultural contestation.
She was the co-editor of the academic journal Tesserae, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, published by Taylor & Francis (Oxford) and she’s currently working on her monograph “When Remembrance Becomes Historical Memory: Eva Koch’s Visual Art and the Spanish Civil War.”
Free and open to the public.