'This thesis, which comprises a critical dissertation and creative manuscript, explores the representation of contemporary space in the work of Australian poet Laurie Duggan. Through comparative readings of Duggan’s poetry and that of other poets with whom he shares thematic preoccupations and aesthetic concerns, the thesis provides a range of critical approaches for illuminating the representational strategies in Duggan’s work. The thesis argues, with reference to theoretical perspectives including those of Michel de Certeau, Henri Lefebvre and Fredric Jameson, that Duggan’s poetry constructs a deceptively complex spatial dynamic, a poetic strategy grounded in specific localities, while recognising that the local, as space, is open to social and cultural associations that extend beyond the static nature of place. Situating Duggan’s work within a modernist tradition of process-based aesthetics, the thesis argues that Duggan’s poetry involves a process of spatial mapping, a strategy that constructs experiential, yet necessarily provisional, maps of contemporary space that move fluidly from the local to the global.
'The creative component of the thesis takes the form of a poetry manuscript, the poems responding to—though not attempting to explicate—the aesthetic concerns explored in relation to Duggan’s poetry and poetics. Although the poetry presented here displays shared influences and representational strategies with Duggan and the other poets considered in this study, the manuscript is not imitative, or derivative but instead deliberately charts its own conception of contemporary space. In this respect, the two components of the thesis complement one another, offering on the one hand a critical investigation of Duggan’s approach to the representation of space, while at the same time creatively exploring the possibilities of what might constitute a spatial poetics.'
Source: The University of Melbourne.