Inarticulate prayers: Irony and religion in late twentieth-century poetry

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/280295
Title:
Inarticulate prayers: Irony and religion in late twentieth-century poetry
Author:
Lagapa, Jason S.
Issue Date:
2003
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Inarticulate Prayers: Irony and Religion in Late Twentieth-Century Poetry examines irony and its implications for religious belief within texts ranging from the New York School Poets to the Language Poets and, in Caribbean literature, within the poems of Derek Walcott and Kamau Brathwaite. Taking Jacques Derrida's distinction between deconstruction and negative theology as a point of departure, I argue that contemporary poets employ ironic language to articulate an ambivalent, and skeptical, system of belief. In "How to Avoid Speaking: Denials," Derrida contrasts his theory of differance--as a fundamentally negative and critical mode of inquiry--with negative theology, which ultimately affirms God's being after a process of negation. My study asserts that contemporary poets, in accord with principles of negative theology, engage in inarticulate, self-canceling and negative utterances that nevertheless affirm the possibility of belief and enlightenment. By postulating the affinity between contemporary poets and the apophatic tradition, I explain how the work of these poets, despite often being dismissed as arid exercises in poststructuralist thought, productively draws on linguistic theories and also advances beyond the "negativity" of such theories. Moreover, as it intervenes in recent debates over the absence of a spiritual dimension to contemporary poetry, my dissertation opens new perspectives through which to theorize postmodern literature. Demonstrating that experiments in language and form are driven by an ironic stance towards belief, authorship and literary tradition, Inarticulate Prayers ultimately redefines contemporary lyric and narrative poetry and asserts negation, inarticulateness, and contradiction as determining characteristics of postmodern writing.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Literature, Comparative.; Literature, Modern.; Literature, Caribbean.; Literature, American.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; English
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Nathanson, Tenney

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleInarticulate prayers: Irony and religion in late twentieth-century poetryen_US
dc.creatorLagapa, Jason S.en_US
dc.contributor.authorLagapa, Jason S.en_US
dc.date.issued2003en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractInarticulate Prayers: Irony and Religion in Late Twentieth-Century Poetry examines irony and its implications for religious belief within texts ranging from the New York School Poets to the Language Poets and, in Caribbean literature, within the poems of Derek Walcott and Kamau Brathwaite. Taking Jacques Derrida's distinction between deconstruction and negative theology as a point of departure, I argue that contemporary poets employ ironic language to articulate an ambivalent, and skeptical, system of belief. In "How to Avoid Speaking: Denials," Derrida contrasts his theory of differance--as a fundamentally negative and critical mode of inquiry--with negative theology, which ultimately affirms God's being after a process of negation. My study asserts that contemporary poets, in accord with principles of negative theology, engage in inarticulate, self-canceling and negative utterances that nevertheless affirm the possibility of belief and enlightenment. By postulating the affinity between contemporary poets and the apophatic tradition, I explain how the work of these poets, despite often being dismissed as arid exercises in poststructuralist thought, productively draws on linguistic theories and also advances beyond the "negativity" of such theories. Moreover, as it intervenes in recent debates over the absence of a spiritual dimension to contemporary poetry, my dissertation opens new perspectives through which to theorize postmodern literature. Demonstrating that experiments in language and form are driven by an ironic stance towards belief, authorship and literary tradition, Inarticulate Prayers ultimately redefines contemporary lyric and narrative poetry and asserts negation, inarticulateness, and contradiction as determining characteristics of postmodern writing.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectLiterature, Comparative.en_US
dc.subjectLiterature, Modern.en_US
dc.subjectLiterature, Caribbean.en_US
dc.subjectLiterature, American.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorNathanson, Tenneyen_US
dc.identifier.proquest3089972en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b44422787en_US
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