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dc.contributor.authorShostak, Dorothy.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-10-21T12:36:00Z
dc.date.available2014-10-21T12:36:00Z
dc.date.issued2001en_US
dc.identifier.otherAAINQ66677en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10222/55808
dc.descriptionIn contrast to those critics who see Gwendolyn MacEwen's poetry as structured by a dialectical logic which seeks to create a harmonious synthesis from the fusion of opposites, this study contends that MacEwen's poetry is more usefully understood as structured by a logic of disavowal: the simultaneous concealment and revelation of difference and the anxiety it generates. Disavowal is most apparent in those poems which are overdetermined by multiple fetish discourses---particularly the discourses of sexual, material, aesthetic, and spiritual economies---and endows those poems with a peculiar and noticeable uncanny energy. In Chapter One, I review the migration of the term "fetish" from its original use in the intercultural spaces of trade relations between Europe and West Africa, into disparate discourses, and drawing on Hal Foster's work on seventeenth-century Dutch still lifes, define the term "fetishicity" as the simultaneous overdetermination, by multiple fetish discourses, of a literary in contrast to a visual text. Chapter Two explores the beginnings of fetishicity in MacEwen's work and its relationship to her mythopoeic method by focusing on two groups of early poems: the unpublished series "Adam's Alphabet" and the "eden" poems from her first collections Selah, The Drunken Clock, and The Rising Fire, in which fetishicity is apparent in MacEwen's interest in exotic alphabets and in metaphors of eden, all of which are constructed using strategies of disavowal which suggest a haunting secret that the poet simultaneously desires to conceal and to reveal. Chapter Three analyzes MacEwen's use of a symbolic vocabulary derived from fetish discourses in poems from The Rising Fire, A Breakfast for Barbarians, The Shadow-Maker, and Armies of the Moon to satirize North American consumer culture based on the production and circulation of commodities and to explore the circulation of desire and its multiple disavowals in the material economy. Chapter Four continues the analysis of fetish discourses in an example of MacEwen's mature work, The T. E. Lawrence Poems, in which a traditional Orientalism, again signaling the attraction and repulsion of the fact of difference, is subverted by the logic of disavowal. I conclude that although MacEwen's oeuvre frequently thematizes myth, alchemy, and the exotic, the poetry's real power derives from the fetishicity of her texts, their embodiment of disavowal.en_US
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D.)--Dalhousie University (Canada), 2001.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherDalhousie Universityen_US
dc.publisheren_US
dc.subjectLiterature, Canadian (English).en_US
dc.titleOpen secrets: Fetishicity in the poetry of Gwendolyn MacEwen.en_US
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dc.contributor.degreePh.D.en_US
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