PhD student Melanie Xang-Er Tang awarded Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize
The aim of the Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize is to recognise work of outstanding merit at Master’s level. There are two prizes of £100 and £60, and the winning entrants are also given one-year free BCLA membership.
Melanie won the 1st prize for an essay written during her MA at King’s College London. She said: "I am very honoured to have been awarded the Arthur Terry prize by the BCLA for my essay ‘Cavafy, Baudelaire & Rimbaud: Voyage, Ephemerality and the Pursuit of Meaning’. The essay seeks to approach Cavafy’s ‘Ithaca’ from a new perspective, reading it through the lens of Baudelaire’s ‘Le Voyage’ and Rimbaud’s ‘Le Bateau Ivre’, rather than the more traditional entry points offered by Dante’s Inferno and Tennyson’s ‘Ulysses’. In it I explore the relationship between transience and the pursuit of lasting ideals as expressed in the three poems via the unifying metaphor of the poetic voyage. The essay can be read on the BCLA website soon, once it has been published there. I would like to thank the BCLA for their recognition and Professor David Ricks at KCL, who taught the MA module for which I wrote this essay: ‘C.P. Cavafy: the making of a modernist’. His teaching and advice were indispensable to my research."