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Title: Hart Crane's queer modernist aesthetic
Author: Munro, Niall
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 0348
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2011
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'Hart Crane's Queer Modernist Aesthetic' contends that to properly examine Crane's work, queerness and modernism, which are frequently thought to be contrary sites, must be considered together. The areas of experience which modernist writers sought to destabilise, such as the visual world, space, time, and the material world, were also destabilised by Crane's queerness. The radical energy of Crane's work is derived therefore from this dual aesthetic, and also from the conflicts that Crane generated within it, whether in terms of modernism (his adversarial approach to T.S. Eliot, or his continuing allegiance to Decadence and Walter Pater), or in queer terms, as Crane resisted the dominant heteronormative modernism by employing a queer negativity which asserted his own sexual identity against heteronormative futurity. Whilst acknowledging his reputation as a 'difficult' or 'obscure' poet, the thesis argues that a key component of Crane's queer aesthetic is his attempt to produce a relational poetics, as he seeks to make a connection with his reader. Chapter One, 'Visuality, American Decadence, and the Evolution of Crane's Style', examines the influence upon Crane of two queer antecedents, Oscar Wilde and Walter Pater. Chapter Two, 'Spatiality, Movement, and the Logic of Metaphor', employs the philosophical work of Henri Lefebvre, Gaston Bachelard, and Michel de Certeau to show how Crane uses various forms of spatial practice and production to challenge heteronormativity. Chapter Three, 'Temporality, Futurity, and Self- Consciousness', pays particular attention to the 'Voyages' sequence and The Bridge in order to discuss ways in which Crane's poetry challenges normative, linear time, especially futurity. Finally, Chapter Four, 'Materiality, Experience, and Knowledge', explores Crane's queer theories of knowledge and experience, which are frequently represented in his prose and poetry as a relationship between materiality and immateriality. In analysing Crane's work the thesis draws upon a range of unpublished archival material, examines in detail Crane's visual influences for the first time, and offers a genetic reading of one particular sequence of poems. In its consideration of the various dimensions of Crane's aesthetic, the thesis seeks to provide a thorough examination of Crane's experience as it is presented in his poetry from his earliest juvenilia in the 1910s through to his final published poem in 1932.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available