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dc.contributor.advisorReid, Nicholas
dc.contributor.authorReeve, Richard
dc.identifier.citationReeve, R. (2003). Sein language : a hermeneutic of New Zealand poetic reality (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.descriptionDigital copy stored under Section 55 of the NZ Copyright Act.en_NZ
dc.description.abstractWhat 'New Zealand' means, in the poetry bearing the name, has been an issue for our literature for much of the past century. In the 1970s, with the advent in New Zealand of new theoretical perspectives commonly derived from French contemporary thought, writers and critics sought to challenge the realist philosophy and aesthetics championed by Allen Curnow, often by questioning what ideological and cultural bearings underpinned its apparently disinterested prescriptions. In a spirit of generosity, I hope here to critique their critique, by emphasizing the intimate relation between the 'deconstructive' method pioneered by Jacques Derrida and the project of hermeneutic ontology advanced by Martin Heidegger. If, as Derrida has notoriously asserted, there is nothing outside the text, equally there is nothing 'in' the text. Rather, language belongs to that irreducible metaphoricity which inheres in what Heidegger has called Being-in-the-world. The act of reading a 'poem' is in many respects little different from the act of fixing a 'fence', inasmuch as in both cases the character of the phenomenon has been historically pre-determined: 'poems' and 'fences' are something to us. With poetry, the experience we appear to have of a world 'behind' the text is always an outcome of what we bring historically to the moment of reading. In the case of 'New Zealand' poetry then, we must query which aspects of our collective historical reality serve to illuminate formally undifferentiated text, such that the poem works on the New Zealand reader to call forth something of the world which he or she inhabits. In sum, I am concerned then not with formal units but the worldhood of reading. Denis Glover's 'The Magpies' is a quintessentially 'New Zealand' poem because, in Heidegger's words, it 'presences' New Zealand Being, yet there are no specifically New Zealand words in the poem. While, because of this irreducible metaphoricity, any categorical division between word and 'fence' (such as Heidegger's 'presence' suggests) is problematic, the historically inlaid character of language gathers together elements of our world in a way which is culturally and phenomenologically unique. To this end, I will argue, the essence of the poetic remains the precinct of hermeneutics-an enquiry into the deep conditions of understanding. In hermeneutics the question of 'New Zealand' poetry is reorganized in a fashion which takes into account its essentially organic character.en_NZ
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.titleSein language : a hermeneutic of New Zealand poetic realityen_NZ
dc.typeThesisen_NZ of Philosophyen_NZ of Otagoen_NZ
otago.openaccessAbstract Onlyen_NZ
dc.rights.statementDigital copy stored under Section 55 of the NZ Copyright Act.
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