John Ashbery in the World: Space, time and work

Burton, Heleina (2022) John Ashbery in the World: Space, time and work. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis will argue that Ashbery’s subject is the contemporary world: a world of the automation of blue-collar labour, of suburbanisation, of surveillance, currency instability and the AIDs crisis. It begins from the premise that Ashbery’s poetry is intimately concerned with both experiencing and representing the world, and that the world that it describes is one that the reader can recognise and understand. As a corollary, it will situate Ashbery in the world in a philosophical, phenomenological and ecological sense, arguing that his poetry is fundamentally engaged in trying to represent not only the contingent, subjective experience of consciousness, but also a broader, collective experience of living through time and history. Although it will acknowledge the rich complexity, and, at times, the intractability, of Ashbery’s poetry, it will argue against the notion that it describes a world that is unrecognisable to, or unknowable by, the reader. Through close readings of both individual poems and collections, it will explore the way in which Ashbery’s poetry conveys meaning, and, in doing so, it will seek to identify what, and how, Ashbery’s poetry enables us to know about the world, even when this world cannot be adequately or comprehensively described.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Nicola Veasy
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2023 10:48
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2023 10:48


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