Will Lanstone

These words inefficient and metaphorical: an exploration of poetic language in the divide between world and earth

Faculty Mentor: Damian Stocking, Comparative Studies in Literature & Culture Department

Major: Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture

Funding: Ford Research Mentor's Endowment

In an attempt to reconsider Heidegger theory of art in naturalist terms, this paper will draw on the works of poet Don Paterson and naturalist philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder to adjust Heidegger’s argument to comply with natural reason and to liberate his language from logic a little, as he by his own admission failed to do. Once the categories Heidegger proposes of earth and world have been explored in the context of poetic influence within them, we will move our attention to category as a frame of reason itself in the stance of Jacques Derrida’s critique on absolute structuralist thinking, given that the privileging of these absolutes may be the problem that Heidegger faced in his theory; we will quantify the shortcomings of category in terms Derrida’s Différance and Herder’s anti-subjective theory of cognition, and guided by the basic principles of ecology we will try and explore the possibility of diversity of life and conception as a true value to strive for, instead of the traditional singular kind of truth found in most rhetorically based writing. Considering phonetic lyric and neologism as tools of elaborating this move towards diversity, we will work at all times to pay careful attention to actual poetic technique and will base the entire essay’s framework on the structure of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem Alastor, given that Shelley as a thinker and poet sits at the heart of the very conflict of reason we are here approaching. We will end as Shelley’s poem ends, with death.

Watch my research presentation below.

Questions or comments? Contact me at: wlanstone@oxy.edu



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