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James Merrill's use of performance imagery and AIDS in his last three collections

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James Merrill's use of performance imagery and AIDS in his last three collections

Legault, Marie-Claude (1998) James Merrill's use of performance imagery and AIDS in his last three collections. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis offers a particular analysis of the new concerns, structures and themes of James Merrill's last three collections: Late Settings (1985), The Inner Room (1988), and A Scattering of Salts. What I argue is that, prior to Late Settings, Merrill was concerned with static imagery and frozen formalism. With Late Settings, however, the static imagery gives way progressively to animated imagery--a move which also marks the poet's increasing concern with social issues. The Inner Room follows the poetical orientation undertaken in Late Settings in that performance and social change are represented more concretely through drag performativity and AIDS. In his last collection, A Scattering of Salts, Merrill refutes the social turn of his two previous collections. The poet's drag performance is used this time not to challenge society, but to express a desire to cut himself off from the world.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Legault, Marie-Claude
Pagination:iv, 91 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:English
Date:1998
Thesis Supervisor(s):Nixon, Nicola
ID Code:422
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:11
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:14
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