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The certainty dream

Title:

The certainty dream

Hall, Kate (2006) The certainty dream. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Descartes asked, how can I know that I am not now dreaming? The Certainty Dream deals with questions of identity, of reality and of the integrity of linguistic representation of the self through poetry. The poem, the mind, the body, and the world become an interrelating series of overlapping circles, all acting as containers for both knowledge and uncertainty. Eschewing the traditional language of philosophy, these poems operate by semiotic transference, allowing us to know something by first recognizing it as something else. Many of these poems employ loose associations, illogical connections, fragmented narratives and run-on syntax to postulate other ways of knowing. Two primary threads inform the manuscript: a series of dream poems and the character 'Mynah'. Mynah is not a literal mynah bird but an aesthetic object that the speaker uses as a mirror for herself and the world. The dream world and the waking world blur together; the poems in each landscape are similarly strange and uncertain. In a world where "duplicity is always shining forth from ordinary objects," one is never sure whether an object, and by extension the poetic self, is real or a mimetic representation (i.e. part of a dreamscape). The dislocation is epistemological, and the poems thus become the speaker's visible negotiation of her own identity in the face of uncertainty. She is not convinced that she exists as more than a symbol, a representation of herself. Trapped in her own narrative, and her own mind, she isn't sure she has access to anything verifiable. Alongside that doubt, however, poetic language and associative leaps become a point of verification

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Hall, Kate
Pagination:vi, 64 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:English
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bolster, Stephanie
ID Code:8779
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:35
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:35
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