FALTERING SENTENCES, FALTERING SELVES: ON WILFRED OWEN’S POETRY – DULCE ET DECORUM EST AND FURTHER
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Wilfred Owen’s poetry suggests – through dramatic propositional interchange between speech, breath, eye-contact and touch – the impossibility of an ultimate and complete achievement of sense in threshold situations where human beings’ lives often appear to be little more than objects of itemizing contemplation. In time of war, humanity gets jeopardized and meaning is “constructed” of interruptions, omissions, losses and ironic shifts of fate, as in Dulce Et Decorum Est, Insensibility, Strange Meeting, The Calls, Mental Cases, Disabled, Spring Offensive etc. Through the prism of modern European existential analytics and hermeneutics (Gadamer, Levinas, Derrida) this paper examines the ontological value of speech as contact in order to indicate the poet’s awareness of the notion of the end as obtainable from, and imparting meaning to, human existence.
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