Nomad thought in Peter Reading’s Perduta gente and Evagatory and Maggie O’sullivan’s In the house of the shaman and Palace of reptiles

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015

Thesis Language: English

Student: Özlem Türe Abacı



This study aims to explore the processes of becoming in Peter Reading’s Perduta Gente and Evagatory and Maggie O’Sullivan’s In the House of the Shaman and Palace of Reptiles by concentrating on the spatial, corporeal and performative politics in their poetry within a theoretical framework based on Deleuze and Guattari’s nomad thought and their revisionary ideas on the politics of body, space and subjectivity. This study also investigates how nomadism as a critical category enables an exploration of the formal and linguistic experimentalism in Peter Reading and Maggie O’Sullivan’s poetry. The analysis of poems is preceded by an introductory chapter about the ‘poetry wars’ in the post-war British poetry between the mainstream and marginalised camps of poets in order to unravel the key debates surrounding the reception and features of experimental poetries in Britain, and a theoretical chapter on the concepts such as nomadic subject, smooth/striated spaces, affect, explored throughout the study. A close reading of the poems reveals that the thematic, linguistic and formal concerns in Reading and O’Sullivan’s poems foreground a trans-corporeal and nomadic aesthetics, displacing the anthropocentric assumptions about self and space, and challenging poetic conventions by rendering language itself a poetic material. In conclusion, this study mainly argues that Reading and O’Sullivan’s nomadic subjects in the poems are constantly reproduced in relation to non-human forces in urban spaces or landscapes. Furthermore, linguistic and formal innovations in Peter Reading and Maggie O’Sullivan’s poetry, including lexical experiments, inventive syntax, neologizing and use of visual materials, metamorphose into sites where the nomadic trajectory of their poetry is discovered.