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A study of the expressionist techniques in the poetry of EE Cummings

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dc.contributor.author Coetzee AS en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-22T07:16:25Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-22T07:16:25Z
dc.date.created 1992 en
dc.date.submitted 1993 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11892/9860
dc.description.abstract This dissertation postulated that approaching E.E. Cummings as an expressionist poet could present not only a novel approach, but also an attempt at clarifying the interpretative challenge of reading his work. Two major problems had to be addressed: how can one determine if a poem is expressionist; and how can one include the complete oeuvre of poet like E.E. Cummings in such a study? Literature survey was done of the history of expressionism in all the fields that is applied to. The assumption concerning the definition of expressionism was based on the notion that it is difficult (if at all possible) to determine the essence of the term expressionism. The definition of expressionism therefore also included such elements as those pertaining to German expressionism solely, for example, grotesqueness. In order to study expressionism in poetry more directly, an analysis of an academic thesis and two poems each by two acknowledged expressionists, Gottfried Benn and Paul van Ostaijen, were added. The study wanted to be able to generalize its results to Cummings' complete oeuvre (of 770 poems). The method devised in this study encompasses a combination of direct study (doing a limited hands-on-analysis of selected poems) and a more indirect, but extensive study of a randomly chosen sample of poems. A list of the 100 poems cited most, with their respective counts, was compiled. These poems could be regarded as "Canonized" poems. It was decided that a feasible number of poems to analyse fully would be between 10 and 15 poems. It was decided that the first ten poems receiving the highest counts during the survey should be analysed because they probably constitute Cummings' most Canonized poems. The results yielded by the novel approach, of studying poetry, convincingly indicate that it is possible to conceive of Cummings as an expressionist poet, because expressionist characteristics in the model appeared in each of the 130 poems studied. This dissertation postulates that it is possible to generalize the results to Cummings complete oeuvre and to make a viable case for regarding Cummings as an expressionist poet. en
dc.language English en
dc.subject English literature en
dc.subject Poetry en
dc.subject 093 General LITERATURE SCIENCE en
dc.title A study of the expressionist techniques in the poetry of EE Cummings en
dc.type Masters degree en
dc.description.degree MA en


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