Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Andrew Taylor


In his elaborative Landbridge 'statement of intent', Western Australian and International poet John Kinsella - whose phenomenal rise since the '90s is now a worldwide literary success story that needs no introduction - asserts a profound interest for the 'pastoral radical' (Kinsella, ed. Kinsella, Landbridge, 1999): “I'm particularly interested in the 'pastoral radical'- in blending the so-called pastoral tradition with the lingui.stically innovative. This 'hybrid' ironises the pastoral construct but allows for genuine movement through rural spaces. Landscape is central to my project - ways of seeing, questions of occupation and space, the position and relevance of the so-called 'lyrical I' and conditions of referentiality. My work may be symptomatic of late modernism {even postmodernism) in its exploration of the processes of its own creation and investigation of language as a thing-in-itself, but its concerns are primarily ethical and moral in nature. Visual art is a strong inspiration.”(p. 193) I cannel help but think of Deleuze & Guatlari and the rhizome in relation to Kinsella's 'pastoral radical'. Think 'pastoral' and I think 'tree'; think 'radical' and I, well I think of quite many things including the rhizome. 'Radical', not 'radicle', and so on, and Deleuze & Guatlari, again. Kinsella talks about "blending the so-called pastoral tradition with the linguistically innovative", but I take the view that the poet is only highlighting an important aspect of his 'pastoral radical' that instance and not making a definition. My thesis approaches his 'pastoral radical' vis-a-vis the primary 'pastoral' and 'anti-pastoral' rubrics as well as other literary critical production labels, terms and conditions attached to describing Kinsella's contemporary poetry/poetics, for example, his Trojan Horse theory according to Bernstein. Or is it Bernstein according to his Trojan Horse theory? I know it is not a question of hemispheres. I mean, there is 'pastoral radical' and there is 'radical pastoral'; there is 'anti-pastoral', 'not-so-anti-pastoral' and there is 'anti-anti-pastoral' (?); there is 'close', there is 'open' and there is 'close/open'; there is 'encounter', there is discounter and there is 'missed encounter'; there is 'end-counter' and there is 'counter-end'; there is 'blending' and there is 'blundering'; there is 'blurring' and there is 'erring'; there is England, there is America and there is Australia (all three there where Kinsella lives and works as a poet/academic) ... there is Andy Warhol, there is Andy Warhol and there is Andy Warhol ... (there is/are even Dandy Warhols these days) ... For the thesis I am making three rhizomes connecting Kinsella's poetry/poetics as a Deleuzean means to study how he 'ironises' the pastoral construct by 'hybridising' it: The pastoral tree-rhizome, the 'pastoral-radical' rhizome and the 'pastoral-radical-artifice' rhizome (not necessarily in any packing or pecking order). In the Abstract to Auto (at that time a student prose work about poetry and life as a poet submitted for his Edith Cowan University's Masters thesis), Kinsella says: "There is no closure ... The text ends where YOU and I write and read ... The roles of reader and writer are blurred ... John Kinsella -I? 'My name is John Kinsella. I make poems' ... " (Kinsella, Auto, 2000, Abstract). Klyth Tan - I? 'My name is Klyth Tan. I am making an English Honours thesis on John Kinsella'. I am not mimicking Kinsella. I am only forming another rhizomatic link. You are invited to join us (un)read and (un)write. Upon reaching the Deleuzean point such that "it is no longer of any importance whether one says I", we ARE ("no longer ourselves"), each ("his own") and altogether "have been aided, inspired, multiplied" (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, p. 3).