Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Transformative Intensities : The Significance of Sensation in Reading Contemporary Innovative Poetry.
Author: Clay , Jonathan Douglas
ISNI:       0000 0001 3558 6214
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Poetry is composed of sensation: this Deleuzian assertion is the bedrock of my thesis. I do not argue that only innovative poetry is sensational, but it is clearly so and for full comprehension it should be read as such. Sensation's significance is evidenced by modernist history: modernist poetry broke with representationalist traditions, no longer primarily depicting something beyond itself but existing for itself. As a result, poetry cannot be comprehensively thought as meaning: poetry is itself real, possessing real force - composed of sensations. This is difficult to grasp as poetry continues to use language, meaning's primary medium. J.H. Prynne's work has becomes synonymous with this difficulty: his consequently marginalised work comes under particular scrutiny as I closely engage innovative poems themselves. Closely attending to readerly experience, I examine innovative poetics, looking at how two poems, one each by Prynne and Anna Mendelssohn, operate as performative aesthetic and sensational practices. Importantly, I relate these poems to the lyric, a basis they reconfigure. The lyric is central to contemporary poetry as an expression of the subject, a form of selfhood axiomatic to capitalism. This necessary . aesthetic study, rendering poems discrete objects, remains abstracted: poems are not discrete. The relationship between lyric and subject suggests a social dimension and I argue that innovative poetry is a form of social thought. Denise Riley's poetry, which thinks the social/individual relationship by way of sensation, and a poem by Prynne that approaches the holocaust through sensation without reducing it to concepts, demonstrate this. The subject's persistent return prompts a focus on deterritorialisations of selfhood, investigated through quite different poems by Douglas Oliver, John Wilkinson and Geraldine Monk, each bringing the reader into substantively new contact with the world. These enquiries consistently generate political concerns that I address through discussion of the work of D.S. Marrio!, Riley, Andrea Brady and Keston Sutherland. Sometimes despite themselves, these poems produce a happiness that is the promise of a different form of human existence, more fully situated, and in greater connection with the world; a promise always left unfulfilled because it is unsustainable in society as it is currently constituted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available