"Muscled Presence" : Douglas Livingstone's poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Snake"

Everitt, M. and Wylie, D. (2007) "Muscled Presence" : Douglas Livingstone's poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Snake". English in Africa, 34 (1). pp. 133-153. ISSN 0376-8902

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Abstract

Douglas Livingstone's poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Snake" is an artwork which addresses precisely these questions, seeking a manner of portraying the snake which is neither grossly appropriative nor wholly detached, neither ethically empty nor preachy. In its multi-angled structure, Livingstone attempts aesthetically "to establish and embellish ... a contact zone with the nonhuman animals who share our world with us, but accepting also that there exist considerable venues on either side of this contact zone that are, on the one hand, only human, and on the other hand, only nonhuman". Even in his more formally scientific work, Livingstone argues for the inevitability of such limits to knowledge, and for the value of the imagination in addressing them.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Dan Wylie is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department, Rhodes University
Uncontrolled Keywords:English poetry; South African poetry; English poems; Imagery; Literary analysis; Literary criticism; Douglas Livingstone; Thirteen ways of looking at a black snake; Africa; South Africa
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > English
ID Code:1699
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:23 May 2010 16:41
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:21
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