Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
  • Publication
    Open Access
    The sonic dis-ordering of aesthetic structure in Wallace Stevens's 'The idea of order at Key West' and John Burnside's The dumb house
    (2022)
    This essay examines the intertextual links between the American modernist poet Wallace Stevens and the Scottish contemporary novelist John Burnside through a reading of the concept of aesthetic order in the poem 'The Idea of Order at Key West' and the novel The Dumb House. I argue that both poem and novel position the significance of order as crucial in according art the ability to creatively confer meaning and coherence upon external reality, while imbuing a critical consciousness towards order which suggests that it may be a violent imposition of a limited perspective upon subjectivities and forms of life which exceed and disrupt the very narrowness of that vision. Through an exploration of the troping of sound, music and singing in both texts, I examine how aurality orchestrates a dialogue between linguistic order and construction, and what deconstructs conceptual distinctions between corporeality and spirituality, human and animal, and self and other. This comparative reading of Burnside and Stevens unpacks modes of hermeneutical understanding that displace the purely anthropocentric and heteronormative so as to enliven a liminal presentation of aesthetic order that constantly reformulates and rearticulates its own boundaries and limitations, sustaining new critical conversations across metaphysical and social distinctions and hierarchies.
      58  181
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Wallace Stevens and Martin Heidegger: Poetry as appropriative proximity
    (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022)
    Analyzes the entire oeuvre of Stevens’s poetry using the philosophical framework of Martin Heidegger. Opens up Stevens’s language to themes and questions concerning phenomenology and hermeneutics Explores the link between philosophy, American poetry, and modernist poetics.
      28
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Ian McEwan's aesthetic stakes in adaptation as political rewriting: A study of Nutshell (2016) and The Cockroach (2019)
    (2021)
    This essay will examine two of Ian McEwan’s recent novellas as political rewritings of William Shakespeare and Franz Kafka. McEwan’s Nutshell (2016) repositions the avenger figure in Hamlet as an unborn child whose melancholic awareness of the condition of modern existence allows him a mode of ironic commentary about the possibilities of moral and political choices in a world soon to be destroyed by climate change and nuclear apocalypse. The Cockroach (2019) turns Kafkaesque absurdity into political satire as the protagonist-turned-insect first encountered in The Metamorphosis (1915) is arrogated a position of absolute power in a fictional dystopia eerily resonant of Britain on the verge of Brexit. I argue that McEwan’s re-scripting of these two works of canonical literature imbues his narratives with political resonance, as the formulations and distortions of the physical body in his two novellas map onto the articulations of political belief. In effect, McEwan posits the Foucaultian notion that the body is determined by symbolic systems of power. However, he succeeds in turning the gaze back onto the political by instantiating the radical dimension of a subject whose coming into being is already a political act and event. In other words, McEwan’s artistic intervention in rewriting the narratives of Hamlet and Gregor Samsa explodes the hermeticism of the family drama in the originals by relocating the theatre of subjectivity within the sphere of the political.
    WOS© Citations 1Scopus© Citations 1  92  135
  • Publication
    Open Access
    A rending and a raising: Ecstatic religiosity and textual renewal in J. M. Coetzee’s Jesus Trilogy
    (Duke University Press, 2023)
    This essay considers the abstract aesthetics of J. M. Coetzee's Jesus trilogy—The Childhood of Jesus, The Schooldays of Jesus, and The Death of Jesus—as emphasizing the pertinence of the religious in terms of a rupturing of an ontotheological vision of the world. It analyzes Coetzee's employment of religious allegory in the trilogy as a commentary on the birth of religious consciousness that finds its ultimate meaning in an opening out of hermetic experience toward social community and unthematizable singularity. Using Jean-Luc Nancy's ideas of Christianity as a deconstructive event and the ecstatic sense of the world, this essay traces the thematic cohesion of the trilogy in terms of an understanding of divinity that provides an atheological grounding of phenomenological sense. This reading not only emphasizes Coetzee's turn toward a “leaner” style in his late writing as the mark of a unique novelistic outlook toward the pertinence of transcendence in a postsecular world, but also engages with previous readings of allegory in Coetzee's work to posit a different understanding of allegory to be a conscious textual choice that both separates and ties together “fallen” temporality and the redemptive potentialities of literature, resulting in a sense of reality that stubbornly leads outside of it.
      21  33
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Wallace Stevens and Martin Heidegger: Poetry as appropriative proximity
    (Palgrave Macmillan Cham, 2022)
    This book is a unique contribution to scholarship of the poetics of Wallace Stevens, offering an analysis of the entire oeuvre of Stevens's poetry using the philosophical framework of Martin Heidegger. Marking the first book-length engagement with a philosophical reading of Stevens, it uses Heidegger's theories as a framework through which Stevens's poetry can be read and shows how philosophy and literature can enter into a productive dialogue. It also makes a case for a Heideggerian reading of poetry, exploring his later philosophy with respect to his writing on art, language, and poetry. Taking Stevens's repeated emphasis on the terms "being", "consciousness", "reality" and "truth" as its starting point, the book provides a new reading of Stevens with a philosopher who aligns poetic insight with a reconceptualization of the metaphysical significance of these concepts. It pursues the link between philosophy, American poetry as reflected through Stevens, and modernist poetics, looking from Stevens's modernist techniques to broader European philosophical movements of the twentieth century.
      133
  • Publication
    Open Access
    The poesis and politics of English-es in Singapore: Intersubjective worlding in the poetry of Joshua Ip and Hamid Roslan
    This research article discusses developments in contemporary Anglophone Singapore poetry where a proliferation of writers' groups and literary initiatives has led to efforts to define a localized Anglophone poetic tradition. Focusing on the debut collections of two young poets, Joshua Ip and Hamid Roslan, we argue that the presence of Singlish in their work functions as a site of hermeneutical openness that challenges a neocolonial articulation of Singaporean cultural formations centered on ideologies of standardized English usage, which have homogenized ethnic identities and supported a narrative of national progress. This article theorizes the heteroglossic potentialities of the intersubjective lifeworld found in Ip's and Hamid's poetics by discussing how they eschew any naturalized relationship between language as a semiotic system and sociohistorical being, in favor of a renewed query into Anglophone writing as an accumulation of asymmetrical and uneasy cultural relations.
      63  81Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Embargo
    Ereignis and the grounding of interpretation: Toward a Heideggerian reading of translation and translatability as appropriative event
    (2022)
    In his lecture course on Hölderlin's hymn “The Ister,” Heidegger makes a striking claim about translation which implies that the paradigm of translation can never be encapsulated by a passive substitution of one linguistic signifier for another, for what is involved is no less than the stance the translator takes within his original language as unconcealment, and how he ex-sists toward the other language as the site of another revelation. If the human being and Being belong together by the happening of Ereignis in the way beings presence through language, the hermeneutical event of translation as unfolding, not only within history but also toward that which opens up historical understanding, grounds his entire authentic comportment toward this unconcealment. This article will argue that translation provides a useful correlative through which we can understand Ereignis as appropriative event.
      41
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Refining themselves into existence: Reading Portrait with Terence Davies' filmic portraiture
    (2021)
    James Joyce’s Ovidian epigraph to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Ed. Seamus Deane, Penguin, 1992) not only foregrounds Stephen Dedalus’ mythic link to the figure of the artificer who is able to translate intellectual striving into artistic expression, but also promises a theory of the aesthetic as applied to the novel’s objective form. However, little attempt has been made to read the novel as adumbrating a Joycean visual praxis which moves beyond cinematic stylistics towards thematic resonances between narrative progression and a phenomenological understanding of the filmic image. This essay will read Joyce’s novel with Terence Davies’ cinematic portrait of his family and social background Distant Voices, Still Lives (Davies, Distant Voices, Still Lives. DVD, British Film Institute, 1988), in order to demonstrate how both novel and film undertake a crucial aesthetic sublation in which artistic vision is produced out of the materiality of existence. Through a reading of the aesthetics of temporal selfhood embodied in the literary and filmic media of both, I argue for a comparative analysis of narrative which evokes and sustains modes of understanding that demonstrate the important connection between temporality and identity.
    Scopus© Citations 1  57  44
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Imaginative capacity as form-of-life: Giorgio Agamben, Wallace Stevens and the ‘inoperative’ potential of poetry
    (2023)
    This essay compares the poetic and political theories of contemporary philosopher Giorgio Agamben with the poetry of Wallace Stevens in order to outline a dynamic of ‘inoperativity’ that foregrounds the intimate relationship between language, form and an existential expression of possibility. Through a reading of Stevens’s prose essays and poetry, I demonstrate how Agamben’s reconceptualization of potentiality as a power kept in a non-relational relationship towards its formal realization can be mapped onto the self-conscious articulations of Stevens’s poetic speakers who employ poetic tropes and forms only to question and expose their claims to truth and foundationality. Rather than follow a tradition of poststructuralist readings of Stevens’s destabilizations, I argue for a framework of ‘inoperativity’ that preserves Stevens’s poetic attitude towards life, while showing how his emphasis on potentiality delineates an imaginative vigour that brings the poetic self into renewed attunement with his or her environment.
      31  39
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Poetry in (the) place of the Polis: The question of politics in Wallace Stevens's Poems of the thirties
    (2022)
    This essay will re-evaluate Stevens’s “apolitical” poetic stance during the decade as political statement based on pragmatic accommodation to the demands of reality on the poetic imagination. For Stevens, the dialectical tension between art and society is crucial in ensuring that the imagination remains alive to the continual formations of political reality which can never be fully ossified by any one ideological doctrine. Stevens ultimately enunciates a fuller vision of openness, for the Stevensian subject can negotiate politics on his own terms without being completely limited by it.
      44  111