Abstract/Details

Remote intimacies: Multilingualism in contemporary poetry


2012 2012

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Abstract (summary)

Remote Intimacies narrates a transnational history of the Americas as it appears in contemporary poetry. I trace a constellation of works from North and South America and the Caribbean, attending to their depictions of colonization, slavery, immigration, and ethnonational conflict. In contemporary poetry, I argue, multilingualism is fundamentally historiographic; moreover, other languages signal the most affectively dense moments in these texts. In this way, contemporary multilingual poetry stands at odds with its modernist precedents: it counters the entrenched aesthetic of impersonality and the image of a future-oriented avant-garde that have come to define the critical literature in poetics. Reading recent works by Cecilia Vicuña, James Thomas Stevens, M. NourbeSe Philip, Anne Tardos, Myung Mi Kim, Erín Moure and Rachel Zolf, I offer an alternative methodology: I foreground the historiographic and affective work that that has long been central to the genre, but that has been occluded by the critical focus on the materiality of language and on Marxian narratives of progressive history. Rather than breaking with the past and present, or leaping into a utopian future, these texts use other languages to represent the lives and worlds extinguished by the forward march of progress. They refuse to retroactively confer personhood on history’s victims, and instead turn to other languages to depict their objects of mourning. The resulting practice is a sonically rich poetry that focuses on transtemporal connections among speakers; repeating the words and gestures of other times and places, these poetries sound the impossibly distant without assimilating it into the here and now.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Modern literature;
Latin American literature;
Caribbean literature;
GLBT Studies;
American literature;
Ethnic studies
Classification
0298: Modern literature
0312: Latin American literature
0360: Caribbean literature
0492: GLBT Studies
0591: American literature
0631: Ethnic studies
Identifier / keyword
Language, literature and linguistics; Social sciences; Americas; Avant-garde; Historiography; Multilingualism; Poetry; Queer
Title
Remote intimacies: Multilingualism in contemporary poetry
Author
Dowling, Sarah
Number of pages
249
Publication year
2012
Degree date
2012
School code
0175
Source
DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781267351142
Advisor
Bernstein, Charles
Committee member
Love, Heather; Park, Josephine; Perelman, Bob
University/institution
University of Pennsylvania
Department
English
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3508993
ProQuest document ID
1018699939
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/1018699939
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