ABSTRACT. From the beginnings of his poetic career onwards, well into posterity, Larkin has been known as a “less deceived” poet, combining avant la lettre Lyotard’s postmodern incredulity toward grand narratives with a special, often puzzling pattern of conflicting trends. One of these trends is to counter incredulity with memorable expressions of longing for the togetherness and the communion that certain spaces are associated with. These spaces, and the cartographies that encompass them, are also defining features of identity construction both for the poet himself and for Britain in a postwar, less “heroic” age. The present article examines the literary cartography that some of Larkin’s poems seen as identity narratives contribute to, the mapping of places and spaces, as well as the perspective from which these are perceived and fashioned. In so doing, there will be unexpected transcendent flashes of a solitary, “more deceived” Larkin’s search for a sense of community with people, places and space, with the ordinary coexisting with the eternal and the infinite.

Keywords: Larkin; the Movement; neo-Romanticism; parochialism; anti-intellectualism; redemption

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Ovidius University, Faculty of Letters,
Constanta, Romania

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