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Playing Games of Sense in Edwin Morgan’s Writing


Monika Kocot

Monika Kocot’s book on Edwin Morgan’s literary achievement, both poetry and drama, foregrounds the themes of cultural transgression, dialogism of the author’s creative design, and various, potentially subversive games of sense creation: «verbivocovisual» constellations, mythopoetic «writings-through» and intersemiotic translations.
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In The Poetry of Edwin Morgan, Geddes Thomson observes that tracing Morgan’s poetic development is a task to be approached with some caution, as he is a poet who has always resisted categorisation, whether by technique or by subject matter (53). That is why I have decided to narrow down my research to a few carefully selected aspects of Morgan’s immanent poetics which foreground various (playful) games of sense de/reconstruction both in his poetry and drama. My analyses centre on Morgan’s formal experiments exploring the “loss of epistemic anchoring” in his “verbivocovisual” concrete poems, on the issue of (linguistic) anamorphosis in his poetry, on truly multi-dimensional trickster discourse in “The Whittrick,” on the (d)(r)econstruction of mythological discourse both in his concrete and in his relatively more conventional poetry and drama, and on his continuous search for meaning in his intersemiotic translations, two of which I have chosen to begin with and end this book. Great emphasis is put on the issue of multifarious dialogism of Morgan’s creative design; this dialogism can be seen in his often surprising cross-cultural and deeply engaging intertextual references, but it is even more explicit in his crossing the borders of English towards Scots, in total immersion in computer language, in convergence of many languages, not to mention the zaum-inspired language of the Loch Ness Monster. The lateral perspective of looking at things combined with multi-level dialogism play crucial role in the construction as well as reconstruction and deconstruction...

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