RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 29912589 LA English T1 Discoveries of the other : alterity in the work of Leonard Cohen, Hubert Aquin, Michael Ondaatje, and Nicole Brossard A1 Siemerling, Winfried,, PB University of Toronto Press PP Toronto; Buffalo YR 1994 SN 0802005179 9780802005175 AB Winfried Siemerling examines alterity in the work of four innovative postmodern authors, exploring self and other as textual figures of the unknown. Subjectivity appears mediated, in these texts, by a self-reflexive work in language, seeking to grasp itself in relation to a significant and often fascinating, but also enigmatic, other. Siemerling notes that the question of the other constitutes the opening or gap of knowledge that sets the texts in motion. Because the other shows a marked tendency to escape conclusive definition, however, an articulation of the limits of knowledge becomes the condition under which the discovering subject itself apprehends its own precarious being. The texts examined open the space between 'heterological' and 'thetic' moments of alterity. Siemerling explores Cohen's ways of eluding the self-imprisonment of a subject that names and defines the other. Cohen also uses ironic strategies in which the speaking 'I' turns against both itself and the addressee in order to confound thetic certainties. Hubert Aquin's work, responding to a Sartrean concept of alterity and the discourses of decolonization influenced by it, negotiates a historically defined Quebecois experience of domination by the other. The self-reflexive discoveries of the other in Michael Ondaatje's texts follow elusive figures that often appear adumbrated in the margins of history. In the domain of gender and sexuality, Nicole Brossard's texts similarly engage the double problematic of thetic alterity and heterology. Siemerling concludes that the works under consideration offer heterological discoveries that maintain a productive 'negativity' (Kristeva) with respect to given knowledge and fixed articulations of self and other.