RRP: $20 (AUD)
Format: 127 x 203 mm (paperback)
Pub. Date: October 2009
Out of Bounds is a sequence of poems in three parts, i.e., The Gaze of Silence, Out of bounds and The Silence of the Gaze. It is a double story of dislocation that explores autobiographical fragments drawing on the protagonist’s experience of migration and motherhood. It draws together the two strands to reveal a subject at pains to re-define herself through language in a space circumscribed by sexuality, culture, and post-colonial politics.
The wolf is a conventional symbol of marginality in many literatures. The wolf is an outlaw. He lives beyond the usefully cultivated and inhabited space, in that no-man’s land the Greek called apeiron. The goat sometimes shares this affinity, though the no-man’s land she inhabits is located within an inhabited space.
Women, in the ancient and industrialized worlds, share this territory spiritually and metaphorically in virtue of the now much disputed ‘natural’ female affinity for all that is raw, formless and in need of the civilizing hand of man, witness the Pythagorean Table of Opposites where we find the attributes curving, dark, secret, evil, ever-moving, not self-contained and lacking its own boundaries aligned with Female and set over against straight, light, honest, good, stable, self-contained and firmly bounded on the Male side (Aristotle, Metaphysics.)
Neither these polarities nor their hierarchization are new, now that historians and feminists have spent the last thirty years deconstructing them. However, what Out of Bounds sets out to do which may be innovative, is to present the radical otherness of the goat woman Viola Dali, its female protagonist, as embodied in the politics of what we call voice, rather than language.
In many ways, this work is as much a journey through the physical and psychical worlds as well as a journey towards poetry. The first and third parts are lyrical underpinnings to the dramatized account of the crisis that unfolds in the second part, where the voice is almost disembodied.
The Gaze of Silence
Out of Bounds
The Silence of the Gaze
About the Author
Dominique Hecq was born in the French-speaking part of Belgium. She is the author of a novel (The Book of Elsa), three collections of short fiction (Magic, Mythfits and Noisy Blood), and three books of poetry (The Gaze of Silence, Good Grief and Couchgrass). She has also had two one-act plays performed in Australia and overseas (One Eye Too Many and Cakes & Pains). Her most recent awards are The New England Review Prize for Poetry (2005) and The Martha Richardson Medal for Poetry (2006). ‘Labyrinth’ appeared in Best Australian Poetry 2006 (UQP) and ‘Leaving Rome’ in Best Australian Poetry 2007 (UQP). Dominique is currently a senior lecturer in Writing at Swinburne University of Technology.