The Desperate Hours ; and, At Stake in The Desperate Hours

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of International, Cultural and Community Studies


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


The desperate hours is a long poem consisting of forty-eight sections of thirty lines each which produces itself out of an experimental poetics affirming risk and humour as inseparable from immanent principles of composition. The work is like a performance of thought as it is moved by sensation, a becoming of pre-personal affective states which expand and connect in unpredictable ways. It is about the pleasures of reading, writing and art, and the desperation in discovering that these can guarantee us nothing. At stake in The desperate hours is an essay in which a philosophical and artistic framework is discussed in relation to the poem, offering a view of creative processes as bound up in the problematics and tasks of an immanent ethics. The essay attempts to show how a work like The desperate hours can be experienced as engaging and affecting, at the same time as it embodies a new kind of freedom in which the unknown eludes reduction to or recuperation in the known.

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