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Literature in English, North America

City University of New York (CUNY)

Poetry

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To Be Everything: Sylvia Plath And The Problem That Has No Name, Alanna P. Mcauliffe May 2018

To Be Everything: Sylvia Plath And The Problem That Has No Name, Alanna P. Mcauliffe

Student Theses

This thesis explores, in depth, how the poetry of Sylvia Plath operates as an expression of female discontent in the decade directly preceding the sexual revolution. This analysis incorporates both sociohistorical context and theory introduced in Betty Friedan’s 1963 work The Feminine Mystique. In particular, Plath’s work is put in conversation with Friedan’s notion of the “problem that has no name,” an all-consuming sense of malaise and dissatisfaction that plagued American women in the postwar era. This notion is furthered by close-readings of poems written throughout various stages of Plath’s career (namely “Spinster,” “Two Sisters of ...


Muriel Rukeyser's "The Book Of The Dead": An Analytical Appreciation, Emily Cogan Sep 2017

Muriel Rukeyser's "The Book Of The Dead": An Analytical Appreciation, Emily Cogan

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Muriel Rukeyser’s poetry has always focused around a particular event be it something of global proportions such as the Spanish Civil War (Mediterranean) or the Japanese occupation of Korea (The Gates) or, as with The Book of the Dead, a specific disaster closer to her home, America. Her poetry, however, never exists purely in the realm of politics; she never aligned herself with any particular political party and consequently her poetry is never simply a call to arms or a manifesto in verse. Throughout the body of Rukeyser’s work there are echoes and allusions to poetic traditions, both ...


Between The Cloud And The Page: Repetition And Textuality In Post-Conceptual Poetics, Michael Kirby Jun 2017

Between The Cloud And The Page: Repetition And Textuality In Post-Conceptual Poetics, Michael Kirby

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

These three chapters take as their focus the emergent movement of post-conceptual poetry. The first chapter, “What is Post-conceptual Poetry?,” attempts to delineate the varying definitions of post-conceptualism offered by four critics (Felix Bernstein, Diana Hamilton, Vanessa Place, and Robert Fitterman). Finding none of these to be satisfactory, I turn towards the delineation of my own definition of post-conceptualism in the second chapter, “Beckett contra Sade: Two Kinds of Repetition,” which asserts that post-conceptualism may derive a sort of cohesive political agenda from its rejection of both Sadean and Beckettian repetition. “Between the Cloud and the Page,” the third chapter ...


Collaboration Revisited: The Performative Art Of Claude Cahun And Hannah Weiner, Phillip L. Griffith Jun 2017

Collaboration Revisited: The Performative Art Of Claude Cahun And Hannah Weiner, Phillip L. Griffith

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

In its most common usage in the artistic context, collaboration refers to a practice of creation in which two artists work together to produce a single artwork or object. Collaboration Revisited: The Performative Art of Claude Cahun and Hannah Weiner focuses on the nexus of photography, writing, and performance in the work of six female avant-garde artists from the transatlantic twentieth century, informed by the important place of surrealism in that history, to reconsider this understanding of collaboration. Instead of the notion of collaboration as founded in the experience of two artists working together in each others’ presence, I examine ...


The Strains Of Confessional Poetry: The Burdens, Blunders, And Blights Of Self-Disclosure, Lara Rossana Rodriguez Sep 2016

The Strains Of Confessional Poetry: The Burdens, Blunders, And Blights Of Self-Disclosure, Lara Rossana Rodriguez

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

When a provocative style of autobiographical verse had emerged in postwar America, literary critics christened the new genre “confessional poetry.” Confessional poets of the 1960s and ’70s are often characterized by scholars of contemporary poetry as a cohort of writers who, unlike previous generations before them, dared to explore in their work the personal and inherited traumas of mental illness, family suicides, failed marriages, and crushing addictions. As a result, the body of work these writers produced is often experienced as a collection of stylized, literary self-portraits. What can these self-portraits reveal to us about the connection between confessional poetry ...


The Vastness Of Small Spaces: Self-Portraits Of The Artist As A Child Enclosed, Matthew John Burgess Jun 2014

The Vastness Of Small Spaces: Self-Portraits Of The Artist As A Child Enclosed, Matthew John Burgess

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

A tent of bed sheets, a furniture fort, a corner of the closet surrounded by chosen objects--the child finds or fashions these spaces and within them daydreaming begins. What do small spaces signify for the child, and why do scenes of enclosure emerge in autobiographical self-portraits of the artist? Sigmund Freud's theory that the literary vocation can be traced to childhood experiences is at the heart of this project, especially his observation that "the child at play behaves like a writer, in that he creates a world of his own, or rather, re-arranges the things of this world in ...