Abstract: This article argues that a clue to understanding a paradoxical ambivalence in Boland’s work: her wariness of “objectifying” something or someone for political or religious purposes, while at the same time she believes that attention to an object can indeed open up new ways of seeing. An understanding of the Eastern Orthodox theology of icons is both sympathetic to Boland’s aesthetic assumptions, and also contributes to the critical discussion of absences and presences in Boland’s poetry and prose. The article employs Jean Luc Marion’s phenomenological discussion of icons as it considers the processes whereby both reader and poet create and respond to an object’s “saturated” presence.
New Hibernia Review – Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas
Published: Jul 29, 2016
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