On Paul Durcan and the Visual Arts: Gender, Genre, Medium
Keywords:Visual arts, Transgression, Gender, Medium
The poetry of Paul Durcan finds one of its major attractions in its acknowledgement and crossing of boundaries. Such borderlines are of various types: they are semiotic and intermedial, involving Paul Durcan’s deployment of verbal resources to co-opt or challenge representations in other systems of signification – especially visual media; they are cultural and political, concerning the poet’s processing of elements from both Irish and global cultures; and they are those proper to gendered identities, highlighting the positions of men and women as both subjects and objects of a variety of inscriptions. This essay approaches Durcan’s (literally) transgressive writing and the intellectual and disciplinary challenges it poses by questioning our ability to read poems and pictures, and accept the ostensible self-containment of political conformations and modes of identity.
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