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Title: Innovative poetry & performance 1950-1980: event/effect
Author: Virtanen, Juha
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis takes three related observations as its point of departure. Drawing upon recent comments from lain Sinclair and Robert Sheppard, I initially present it as an investigation that intends to bring hitherto 'invisible' histories to a more tangible o field. Specifically, the histories in this thesis address the interactions between innovative poetry and performance. While this field of research has already produced several significant monographs and anthologies, they often focus almost exclusively on American poetry. Moreover, many of these studies seek to analyse the macroscopic phenomena of poetry readings with reference to elocution and rhetoric. Instead , this thesis concentrates on selected 'event histories ' between 1950 and 1980, which are all subjected to a detailed investigation. Broadly, I approach each case study through an overview of the performance (i.e. the 'event') and a close examination of its techniques and contexts (i.e. the 'effect'). The individual chapters discuss Charles Olson's relationship to John Cage's 'Theatre Piece # I'; Allen Ginsberg's reading at The First International Poetry Incarnation in 1%5; Denise Riley 's first public reading at the Cambridge Poetry Festival in 1977; Eric Mottram's collaborative performance Pollock Record; and Allen Fisher's Blood Bone Brain project from the I97Os. During the course of these investigations, I address concepts such as event (via Whitehead), space (via Lefebvre), gender and perfonnativity (via Butler), memory and forgetting, as well as the body without organs (via Deleuze and Guattari). I also incorporate additional perspectives from Debord, de Certeau, DeJTida, Lyotard and others. Throughout, I explore the parallels between the performance and the poets' respective works, as well as the socio-political contexts of each event. In the conclusion, I draw upon this versatility to problematize certain aspects of 'the performance of authorship' that appears in previous studies, before turning to speculate upon further developments that might make this-and the current-period of poetry seem a little less 'off-piste' in the future. 1
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available