Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts
The creative component of this dissertation is a transgeneric and metanonfictional ode to signification, temporality, friendship, and disaster. An experimentation with atemporal diary form, this hybrid prose cycle contends with the ultimate significance of art-making and beauty in the context of survival, while recursively chronicling its own making. In The long Pré, I meditate on death and disaster, estrangement and entanglement, surrender, and joy, in notes that respond to film, poetry, philosophy, and visual and plastic arts, as well as my own drafts and performances. The collection of notes takes the form of lineated and prose poetry, essay, fragment, prayer, drawings, and photographs, posing its own form as coherent only in plurality. Undated and hyper-autobiographical, the notes begin in January 2020 and document a queer disabled writer’s attempt to restore both their own creative process and their connection to chosen and estranged biological family within the greater context of global catastrophe.
The critical companion limns the erotic condition of this creative writing process as a negotiation between matter and nothingness. While performing a transhistorical survey of poetics statements written in English and in translation that evoke embodiment implicitly or explicitly, or that delineate embodied practices, I narrate the origins of the creative process as founded in uncertainty, surrender, and trust, as well as the physical conditions of hand, environment, and nervous system, and continue on to the succeeding proliferation of the poem, which arises as a continual mediation of the haptic and optic along with the unseen. Drawing from disciplines such as architecture, philosophy, and cognitive and neuro- science, I explicate the thinking process as intentionally structured and fully embodied, the mind a condition of its environment, and the image a condition of object, occasion, and subjective embodied experience. I reevaluate the embodiment framing of poetics statements, which, in contemporary scholarship, is posited as part of a recent cross-discursive reorientation towards embodiment framing of analytic categories, in order to, ultimately, demonstrate the historically under-theorized but viable presence of the writer’s body in poetics literature in relation to the writer’s creative practice as well as output.
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Received from author
Longpre, Ella, "The Long Pré" (2022). Restricted Access ETDs. 60.