Deconstructing the representation of AIDS in poetry

Michaud, James (1998) Deconstructing the representation of AIDS in poetry. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In poetry written about AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), the contraction of the disease is continually divulged by explaining to which group the poet, as speaking subject, or the subject, as the individual about whom the poem is written, belongs. A homosexual, as subject or speaking subject in AIDS poetry, confesses the means of contraction of HIV to be gay sex. An intravenous drug abuser, as subject or speaking subject in AIDS poetry, confesses the sharing of syringes as the means of contraction. The subject or speaking subject's position within a socially-defined community or an identity group continually reaffirms the belief that AIDS only affects certain already-marginalized groups. Read individually, poems about AIDS continually marginalize the experience of those infected by failing to acknowledge the universality of AIDS from which, as Jacques Derrida explains, no human is ever safe (Derrida, 20). In my thesis, I will argue that the poetic representation of AIDS is informed by identity issues that resist universalizing the experience of AIDS.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9047
Additional Information: Bibliography: pages 95-104.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 1998
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: AIDS (Disease) in literature; Poetry, Modern--20th century--Criticism and interpretation

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