Keri Hulme’s Breath Poetics

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Breath plays a small, but important, role in the work of Keri Hulme. My interest in this essay is to consider what happens when Hulme’s representation of breath is brought into conversation with the respiratory poetics of modernism, modernist anthropology, and planetary modernism to address Hulme’s contribution to an Aotearoa New Zealand modernism. This conversation is played out in Keri Hulme’s treatment of hau or ‘breath’. The essay argues that Keri Hulme, in her prose works the bone people (1984) and Te kaihau/The windeater (1986), develops a respiratory poetics: an interrogation of anthropology through experimentations with form.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-417
Number of pages19
JournalModernist Cultures
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2020

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