Where We Cannot Speak

Gary Maller (2009). Where We Cannot Speak MPhil Thesis, English Media Studies Art History, The University of Queensland.

       
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s4134972_MPhil_CW_Thesis_Abstract.pdf Thesis Abstract application/pdf 38.11KB 4
s4134972_MPhil_CW_Total_Thesis.pdf.pdf Total Thesis application/pdf 622.58KB 8
Author Gary Maller
Thesis Title Where We Cannot Speak
School, Centre or Institute English Media Studies Art History
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-02
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Total pages 150
Total black and white pages 150
Subjects 420000 Language and Culture
Abstract/Summary ABSTRACT WHERE WE CANNOT SPEAK The poetry collection Where We Cannot Speak and the accompanying critical essay “Borges and the Golem Paradox: a Rhetoric of Silence?” explore the theme of language and silence. The poetry collection is written in the voice of the imaginary (but published) poet, Gershon Holtz, who reflects my Jewish heritage and upbringing. The poems articulate the silences of those oppressed by war and persecution, and also the silences of meditation and the ineffable, which can reside in the presence, absence, and margins of the poet’s voice. The collection is comprised of two sections: (i) “The Mantelpiece”, which delves into culture, conflict, and memory; and (ii) “The Beautiful Salon”, which reflects upon themes of place, time, loss, and responses to silences represented in visual art and poetry. The critical essay is concerned with the cabalistic figure of the golem—a human being made in an artificial way by magic art, through the use of holy names. Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges (famous for creating fictitious authors and books) wished that, of all his work, the first stanza of his poem “The Golem”, might be remembered. The essay provides a reading that demonstrates how the poem embodies Borges’ views on the nature of signification, language, and knowledge. The paradoxical outcome is that, just as the golem did not have the power of speech, language conceived of as an instrument for textual golem-making is silent in its capacity to represent the world. The essay concludes with some thoughts on my own poetic practice and links the essay with the poetry collection via the figure of the textual golem, Gershon Holtz. This fictional poet becomes a symbol for the problem of language and representation—interpreted both as what we cannot speak about, and the silences inherent in language itself.
Keyword rhetoric
silence
ineffabillity
signification
Jorge Luis Borges
Cratylus
Cabbala
golem
the Liar Paradox

 
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Created: Fri, 03 Jul 2009, 11:14:27 EST by Mr Gershon Maller on behalf of Library - Information Access Service