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Title: (Paradox of (Ethics) of Paradox): Ethics in Geoffrey Hill's Poetics of Witness
Authors: KOH JIA LER
Issue Date: 16-Apr-2018
Citation: KOH JIA LER (2018-04-16). (Paradox of (Ethics) of Paradox): Ethics in Geoffrey Hill's Poetics of Witness. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Dense, contrite, and historical, Geoffrey Hill’s poetry evinces a deep sense of personal and communal indebtedness to the past. Hill attempts to atone for history and its dead through a poetics of witness that seeks to remember and present “that the dead are as real as we are” (PR 298). Writing from a time irrevocably estranged from the past and from a position of non-involvement with the atrocities, Hill’s poetics of witness confronts the potential breaches of ethics that come with belated witnessing, the limits of language as medium of representation, and the complexity of silence and distance in atonement. In considering how commensurable Hill’s means of witnessing are with his notion of historical atonement, and what inflections of ethicality such a witnessing generate, this thesis argues that Hill’s poetics of witness perform an ethical witnessing of history and its atrocities through the paradox of ethics which by extension, evinces the ethics of paradox.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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