Exiled in language : the poetry of Margaret Diesendorf, Walter Billeter, Rudi Krausmann, and Manfred Jurgensen

Tonetto, Walter 1958- (1994). Exiled in language : the poetry of Margaret Diesendorf, Walter Billeter, Rudi Krausmann, and Manfred Jurgensen PhD Thesis, School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Queensland. doi:10.14264/uql.2016.426

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Author Tonetto, Walter 1958-
Thesis Title Exiled in language : the poetry of Margaret Diesendorf, Walter Billeter, Rudi Krausmann, and Manfred Jurgensen
School, Centre or Institute School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies
Institution University of Queensland
DOI 10.14264/uql.2016.426
Publication date 1994
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Unknown
Total pages 405
Language eng
Subjects 20 Language, Communication and Culture
Formatted abstract
Exile is ubiquitous, and it is signally alive in language. Poetry as exilic language is vital hypothecaiy to all activity, and in expressiveness secondary only to thought. As agency for its workings, a neo-Aristotelean construct of the tertium quid is hypothesized, as is the Sheldrakean conception of morphic resonance. All four subjects of this study are self-exiled German-Australian poets, and thus exiles at a second remove. Curiously all are (or have been) editors of significant literary journals in their adoptive homeland. The confrontation with foreign values and beliefs by a culture that lacks an aesthetics of reception and has no philosophic base accounts for the principal difficulty in approaching these authors. Hence provisional models are sought from a variety of disciplines in order to rein in the interpretive territory: psychology, philosophy, and alchemy in the main point towards manifold possibilities of future studies. 

Rudi Krausmann's editorial activities exposed Australian culture for the first time to a cohabitation of art-forms and literary genres, a gift that continues to remain unacknowledgaJ in a fledgling republic of letters. But he is more than aesthetic interm^iiary or commissioner in an an-alphabetical Antipodes; a highly gifted poet in his own right, he is the prototypal player for whom the despondencies of living are ever see-sawing with assertions of playfulness (or a playfulness of assertion). Word-games ~ like anchors cast in the implacable current of language ~ harbour refuge, and become beacons to protect against shipwreck in the vast seas of self. For Walter Billeter, the most self-consciously avant-garde and purististic of the quaternion, Australia's plight (and the plight of language) resides in the politicization of'meaning'; alphabetization, for him, proceeds via a disclosure of the mantric, originative power of language ~ but (a) language that is always also deed. That deed in Margaret Diesendorf's poetic disposition turns to an essentially mythopoeic figura, frequently attending an escape to the pastness of the past; and this past transforms to present in the unexpected shifts from a figural to a gestural level of expressiveness, attains there its mythographic dimension and strength. Manfred Jurgensen, the most complex sensibility of all, proceeds by incessant and wayward troping; the trialogue of "vanguard, rearguard, history" establish his markers ~ housed in ideogrammatical chambers ~ and the frequent metonymy dismantles (in Jameson's phrase) the body's gestural machine. Compared to Diesendorf's expansiveness, Jurgensen is all fierce compaction. For Jurgensen, exilic language is variously solipsistic and participative in highly idiographic terms, annealing in the dissolution of personality ~ a paradoxical scenario that aligns him with Buddhist sunyata^ yet contemplates residual and Phoenician resurrection, configures language no longer as inspiration (as Billeter does) but as thawing exhalation, ultimately as invasion.
Keyword Diesendorf, Margaret, 1912-1993 -- Criticism and interpretation
Billeter, Walter, 1943- -- Criticism and interpretation
Krausmann, Rudi, 1933- -- Criticism and interpretation
Jurgensen, Manfred, 1940- -- Criticism and interpretation
Australian poetry -- 20th century -- History and criticism

Document type: Thesis
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