Origin of the spaces, a Darwinian poetics of identity transformation and the long prairie poem

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Lamont, Dougald
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What we find in the poetry anthology 'a'/' long prairie lines,' the source-book for this analysis--particularly in the "contemporary" poems written in the last 30 years (following Whyte's 'Homage': 'Henry Kelsey') are the writings of a "movement": Canadian prairie postmodernists. However, the Derridean credentials of these writers have been called into question by Diane Tiefensee in her book 'The Old Dualities.' The "discrepancies" between Derridean theory and Canadian postmodernist practice, including Tiefensee's, can be revealed by examining the ways in which Derrida's own metaphysical presuppositions about language and self serve to conceal and suppress a 'material' basis for phenomena usually considered "metaphysical," such as identity, language, meaning and consciousness. I articulate a model for such a strictly material account, namely Darwinian evolution described as an information process. I then follow with an account of the literary and cultural terrain that necessitated the adoption of post-modern poetic strategies and conclude with an examination of the poetics themselves.