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Mourning men : the elegiac in James Merrill and Richard Howard

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Mourning men : the elegiac in James Merrill and Richard Howard

McKeown, Kathleen (1999) Mourning men : the elegiac in James Merrill and Richard Howard. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Since the mid-to-late '80s, AIDS has become part of contemporary society. That literary representation of AIDS are now surfacing is thus not unexpected. And, given the homosexual community's early encounter with AIDS, it is equally unsurprising that an extraordinary amount of what is known as AIDS Literature originates in that community. The elegy, a traditional poetic form used to memorialize the dead, is undergoing a resurgence in popularity, especially in the latest collections of gay poets. The contemporary gay elegy is therefore a compelling field on which to examine AIDS themes in gay literature. Canvassing the gay elegies of James Merrill and Richard Howard, this study exposes motifs and themes particular to memorializing a gay ADDS death. The study begins by establishing some parameters of pre-AIDS gay elegiac form by discussing Merrill's The Changing Light at Sandover (1982); it then moves on to an examination of the elegies in Merrill's The Inner Room (1988), in which images of AIDS figure, and finally it illustrates that the AIDS themes and motifs noted in Merrill are distinctly rendered in Richard Howard's AIDS elegies in Like Most Revelations (1995). Their works record both the present cultural moment and a progression of gay elegiac form.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:McKeown, Kathleen
Pagination:iv, 84 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:English
Date:1999
Thesis Supervisor(s):Nixon, Nicola
ID Code:704
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:13
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:16
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