"My real hopes and ambitions" : Elizabeth Bishop's poetics of dialogism

Zhou, Xiaojing (1995) "My real hopes and ambitions" : Elizabeth Bishop's poetics of dialogism. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF (Migrated (PDF/A Conversion) from original format: (application/pdf)) - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (51Mb)
  • [img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

This dissertation examines Elizabeth Bishop's poetics and its development in her poems. Bishop indirectly articulates her confidence in her artistic talents and expresses her literary ambitions and her theories of how to fulfil them in her prose piece "In Prison." The principles and methods elaborated in this prose piece reveal Bishop's basic conceptions of artistic originality and creative activity, which can be better understood in terms of Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of dialogism. Bakhtinian dialogism provides an encompassing set of theories concerning both literary and extra-literary conditions for aesthetic activity and creative production. These theories offer an approach to literary works, which goes beyond the limitations of a purely thematic and formalist methodology. -- My discussion of Bishop's poetics follows five major concerns central to the development of her poetry: 1) how to make limited commonplace material perform to its utmost capability; 2) how to make a poetry which, in Bishop's own words, "is in action, within itself" as opposed to poetry "at rest"; 3) how to apply her notions of "experience-time" in her poems so as to show the "constant process of adjustment" in one's perception over time and through experience; 4) how to make her poems more "serious," more "real and fresh"; and 5) how to express complicated ideas and feelings through simple language and visual images. These major concerns are expressed and revealed in Bishop's notebooks, essays, letters, and interviews which are used as major sources for my exploration and discussion of Bishop's poetics. -- My basic method in examining Bishop's poetics, though guided by theory, is close-reading of her poems, which are discussed in five chapters according to the publication order of her five books of poetry. Chapter One examines how Bishop deals with material for poetry, movement within poems, and surrealism. Bishop's earliest attempts at portraying "experience-time" in her poems are also examined in this chapter. Chapter Two continues examining Bishop's treatment of "experience-time" and traces her other developments. Chapter Three explores Bishop's further artistic growth in connection to her life in Brazil and her reading. Chapter Four discusses her poetics and poems in relation to American "confessional" poetry. Chapter Five examines Bishop's masterful integration in her final poems of the technical and thematic concerns she explored and developed from the beginning of her poetic career.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5439
Item ID: 5439
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [380]-393.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1995
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Bishop, Elizabeth, 1911-1979--Criticism and interpretation; Bishop, Elizabeth, 1911-1979--Technique; Poetics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics