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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Leftover turkey Finlay, Michael

Abstract

If the turkey in the title of this thesis is the author, then what is left of him - for the time being, at least - is this work: the meat closest to the bone, bits of literary flesh which this somewhat carnivorous society failed to strip away. I offer it now for consumption and become a new animal. This thesis is divided into three units: poetry, translation and short story. The first section comprises a selection of earlier poems and the beginnings of a book tentatively titled Somewhere East. From random impressions in the early work, a more solid poetic analysis develops around the nation of Quebec. The central theme here is one of struggle. Unit two is a selection from four books by the French poet Guillevic, rendered here in English translation. From early work in Terraqué (Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1942) and Exécutoire (Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1948) to more recent poems in Carnac (Paris, Editions Gallimard, 1961) and Avec (Paris, Editions Gallimard, 1966), Guillevic's view remains simple and sympathetic, his poems the voice of one allied with the natural but oppressed by the reality of his social condition. The third unit contains three short fictions in prose which experiment with the fantasy which may be our own particular reality. These are lies about other "turkeys", about the tensions, silences and violence which drive them towards rebellion before they have nothing left at all.

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