Glasgow Theses Service

'Out to an other side':the poetry of Paul Celan and Seamus Heaney and the poetic challenge to post-modern discussions of absence and presence in the context of theological and philosophical conceptions of language and artistic production

Coyle, Derek (2002) 'Out to an other side':the poetry of Paul Celan and Seamus Heaney and the poetic challenge to post-modern discussions of absence and presence in the context of theological and philosophical conceptions of language and artistic production. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (13MB) | Preview

Abstract

Martin Heidegger in 'The Origin of the Work of Art' seeks to approach the self-subsistent nature of art. The Greek Temple opens up a space within which our Being may dwell. It is the site of human civilization and religion, and of our capacity to dwell within abstractions like peace, justice, truth and representation. Art breaks open a new place and presents things in a fresh light. Language is the primary model for this activity. Paul Celan in his poetry offers a challenge to Heideggerian abstraction. Both poet and philosopher were intimately familiar with each other's work, yet there is no essay on Celan, or even a reference, in the entire Heideggerian corpus. Celan's poem 'The Straitening' conveys the breakdown of meaning that has occurred after the holocaust. In form and content it challenges any Heideggerian notion of the higher univocity achieved by great poetry. We will explore recent examples of how poets have examined the idea of cultural belonging exclusion. We present a distillation of this idea in the writings of Paul Celan, particularly his presentation of the moment of 'Shibboleth'. We explore the biblical origin of the term 'Shibboleth' in a conflict between the army of Jephtah and the Ephraimites. We look at a contemporary poem with 'shibboleth' as it theme. Seamus Heaney's 'Broagh'. A consistent theme of Maurice Blanchot's critical reflection from The Work of Fire in 1949 up to and including The Space of Literature in 1955, is the manner in which our being creatures unto death allows us to create art, and to think and write in the abstraction that is language. Life endures death and maintains itself in it. For Blanchot Rainer Maria Rilke is one of the most significant modern poets in the way in which he has presented and explored this theme. We challenge Blanchot's inadequate reading of Rilke in The Space of Literature as an instance of his own pre-conceived philosophical nihilism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Jasper, Rev. Prof. David
Date of Award: 2002
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2002-1765
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 May 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:46
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1765

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item