The Self’s Grammar

Performing Poetic Identity in Douglas Dunn’s Poetry 1969–2011


1. Edition, 2013
306 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-6198-3
Product: Book
Edition: Hardcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: Britannica et Americana. 3. Folge, Volume No.: 29
Available: 21.11.2013

Keywords: Poetologie, nationale Identität, Schottische Literatur, Ekphrasis, Performativität, Elegie, englische Lyrik, britische Lyrik, Dunn, Douglas, schottische Lyrik, zeitgenössische Lyrik


This book surveys the work of a writer esteemed as one of the most respected contemporary Scottish poets. Having worked many years in Hull, Douglas Dunn is also associated with England, and his work is thus precariously located between English, Scottish and British poetries. In charting the discursive routes of his poetry’s thematic and formal concerns, this study discusses poets’ struggles for canonicity in the British literary field. Offering close readings of Dunn’s performances of poetic self-identification and self-authorisation, the study applies and tests a theoretical approach in the analysis of poetry which radically de-stabilises the notion of ‘poetry’ itself. The readings do not presuppose any poetic ‘essence’ but understand the ‘poetic’ as a process of poetic identification performed by text, author, readership and changing historical contexts. The overall concern is to investigate the aesthetic friction between a socially engendered and an individually made poetics.