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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.49, No.4, 755 ~ 781, 2003
Articles : The Experimental Spirit in Canadian Poetry: Margaret Atwood, Eli Mandel, George Bowering, and the Experimental Poets Thereafter
Young Min Kim
Innovative, Innovative methods and techniques of Canadian poetry try to engage the signifier of the poetic sparks as an open space of polyvalence beneath which the potential signifieds of meaning and signification slide, thereby transforming themselves into sliding signifiers of revolution. History of Canadian literature demonstrates one of the exemplars for the signifying chain of this openness, and we can find the origin of the experimental spirit when we go back and trace the process of defining Canadian literature which was revealed in the history of Canadian literary criticism. My main objective in this paper has been to picture the developmental aspects of duplication and multiplication in contemporary poetry seen from the perspective of Canadian literary criticism. I argue that recent Canadian poetry reflects this fragmentary nature of cultural scene, and that Paul de Man`s and Linda Hutcheon`s concepts of duplication and multiplication provide a theoretical grid for filtering various kinds of methods and techniques in understanding contemporary poetry in Canada. It is my contention that Canadian poetry reflects the ironic and fragmentary narratives of duplication and multiplication revealed in Canadian literary criticism. Margaret Atwood`s and Eli Mandel`s poetry reveal the aspects of the duplication of Canadian poetry, by poetizing ironic aspects of human existence and ironic duplicity of language respectively. In contrast, George Henry Bowering and Robert Kroetsch take over what Atwood and Mandel left behind. They investigate the age-old problematics of form and content, and search for the possibility of multiplication in the forms of allegorical displacement, by experimenting fragmentary forms in their poetry, executing postmodern parody, and deconstructing such monolithic traditional concepts of subject, language, meaning, and image. In addition to Bowering and Kroetsch, there are many other experimental poets who also contribute to the event of the multiplicity in Canadian poetry by means of innovation and experiment. They have made every effort to innovate their poetry in the forms of open form poetry, long poems, continuing poems, and concrete poetry including visual poetry and sound poetry.
Key Words
Canadian poetry, Margaret Atwood, Eli Mandel, George Bowerig, Experimentalism, open form, Robert Kroetsch,영미문학, 문화연구, 비교문학, 비평이론, English and American Literature, cultural studies, comparative literature, critical theory
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