A Poetics of Paradox: Reality and the Imagination in the Meta-Poetry of Louis Dudek

Type of resource
Author/collaborator
Title
A Poetics of Paradox: Reality and the Imagination in the Meta-Poetry of Louis Dudek
Abstract
The author examines the poetry and poetics of Montreal poet and literary critic Louis Dudek (1918-2001) in order to elucidate the ways in which Dudek balances competing realist and transcendentalist urges over the course of a career that spanned more than sixty years. From Dudek's earliest "social realist" poetry and polemics in the 1940s to his later "transcendental realist" poems, the author argues that Dudek displayed a consistent interest in the poetic process. Through his self-reflexive poetry or "meta poetry," Dudek united the seemingly disparate elements of his poetic project into an imaginative, intelligent, and coherent vision of universal significance. The author points out that in the 1940s, Dudek's meta-poetry points most clearly to discrepancies between his early "social-realist" poems and First Statement polemics; in the 1950s and 1960s, Dudek's meta-poetry continues to identify and embrace the paradoxes or tensions that permeate much of his oeuvre; and in his late poetry, Dudek achieves an extraordinary balance between reality and the imagination by transforming Continuation, his final long poem, into a metaphor for the mind of the poet and for the poetic process. Ultimately, the author maintains, Dudek's poetics of paradox allows him to reaffirm poetry's ability to create order out of the "chaos" of reality and to draw ever closer to his transcendental vision of "Atlantis," the "hidden reality" beyond the known and knowable world.
Type
Master's Thesis
University
University of Saskatchewan
Place
Saskatoon, SK
Date
2011
Language
en
URL
Citation
Jensen, Graham. “A Poetics of Paradox: Reality and the Imagination in the Meta-Poetry of Louis Dudek.” Master’s Thesis, University of Saskatchewan, 2011. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/thesescanada/vol2/SSU/TC-SSU-20110858.pdf.
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