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The Scope of Indirection: Poetry and Consciousness



University of Macau



If poetry has had a diasporatic posture, then poetry’s evasion of definition is the unremarkable result of the fact that, as language is, so poetry is becoming; it is a way with words self-constituted as always on the way. Conversation and witness may each be regarded as resistances of truth or meaning as finished; these are about the consciousness-threatening prospect of allowing otherness. In this prospect lies the ‘scope of indirection’ – that range of the possible which intention cannot determine, because the truly open dialogue will not be gainsaid in its implications or effects. It is in this sense that the meaning of poetry (as minimally negotiated between author and reader) lies open to the active consciousness, open as text to be read.

Keywords: Poetry, consciousness, dialogue, witness, différend, intersubjective, canon, foreignness



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