Issue number one

Welcome to our first issue of the brightONLINE literary and creative online journal. We have no special theme for this issue, simply our selection of the best work we have received since our call for papers at the end of summer term. The issue includes two departmental prize winners in Ben Westlake and Rosanna Wood.

We hope you enjoy reading the work.

Articles from our latest edition.

Chartacre: How does Samuel Beckett's Trilogy use scepticism of language to question traditional theories of consciousness?

Final year dissertation including practice-led writing methodology

Using a methodology of imaginative writing set alongside textual criticism, Ben Westlake explores how the limits of language are tested by writers. Ben's dissertation uses the understanding gained from his own creative practice to balance other levels of understanding through close critical analysis of modernist texts.

Ben Westlake

Names of the Phrenological Organs: Dissertation by Rosanna Wood University of Brighton

Daniel Deronda: A Study in Characterisation and Psychology

Final year dissertation on Victorian literature

Concerned with George Eliot’s final novel, Daniel Deronda, this essay examines the nature of character, drawing upon definitions and attitudes to that term. It looks at how certain of Eliot's characters are formed, considering them in their varying levels of success as representations of people, and how they have been received by critics over time.

Rosanna Wood

Metal briefcase handle

Fame or Shame

Experimental work in short fiction from Creative Writing module

"The walls of the dance studio were almost entirely covered in mirrors... Gareth pranced around in the company and audience of himself .... In his periphery, amongst the scattered streamers and few loose socks, Gareth noticed a briefcase.... Much to Gareth’s surprise, the case was unlocked and opened with a simple flick of a buckle. Much more to his surprise were the contents."

George Gould

Detail of 'Viola' from 'The Heroines of Shakespeare: Comprising the Principal Female Characters in Plays of the Great Poet',  The London Printing and Publishing Co., London, 1860, Illustrated by J. W. Wright & Others

‘Semblative a woman’s part’: Why and how are considerations of gender and sexuality important in Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice?

Critical essay from Early Modern Literature module

Shakespeare's female characters in these two major comedies seem to remodel the 17th Century notions of femininity and the woman's social role. This essay examines gender issues in the plays, looking at cross-dressing, homosexuality and issues surrounding the carnival breaking of social expectations.

Hannah Aspinall

Illustration from Matthew Lewis' The Monk

Compare and contrast doubling in The Monk and Dracula with emphasis on how notions of the Gothic have been articulated, developed and/or rewritten over time.

Critical essay in Gothic fiction

Written at the ends of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries respecitvely, The Monk and Dracula exemplify the use of doubling in Gothic literature. In this essay, style and plot are considered alongside the double nature of characters that is central to Gothic fiction and the overarching 'doubleness' of the novels' themes.

Olly Hunt

Mary Beale, portrait of Aphra Behn

How critical are Seventeenth century writers of emergent colonialism?

Critical essay from Early Modern Literature module

With reference to early modern paradigms of colonialism, this essay considers how authors such as Swift, Behn and Milton use their contemporaries' polarised notions of civilisation to challenge readers' understanding of European culture and its relationship to the 'other' of colonised races.

Kirstin Papworth

Jez Burrows, University o fBrighton, illustration cover for On The Road, Penguin prize second place 2008

Travelling with a Beat: An exploration into the use of music to express travel in On the Road and Latcho Drom

Critical essay on sound in Twentieth century narrative culture

The 'universal language' of music as a narrative tool is examined through analysis of two works - book and film - and their use of music as structure and symbol as well as an evocation of environment. The essay recognises music's relationship with identity and culture as well as its bridging between language and tacit communication.

Louis Kirby

Cover for James Joyce Exhiles

Marginality and exile in Murphy and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Critical essay on Modernist literature

This essay looks at two seminal works of the early-twentieth century, considering 'character' and the sense of language as instances of psychological exile. Marginality, it is argued, is an extension of individuality, and the confusion inherent in the self's gradual absorption into society is at the heart of a Modernist sense of alienation.

Toby Shearwood


Two Little Birds

Creative experiment in short fiction

They had always been little bony things... When they were younger she would gather up their sharp little limbs in her arms and squeeze them tightly. They hated when she did that and would push against her embrace like small birds flapping their wings. She sometimes worried she would hold them too tightly, and they would break. They always seemed so easily broken, so devastatingly transient.

Abi Southwell