Enantiomorphosis and the Canadian Avant-Garde: Reading Christian Bök, Darren Wershler, and Jeramy Dodds

Sean Braune
2017
I want to consider enantiomorphosis as one of the dominant forms of experimental translation in the poetics of the Canadian avant-garde. This analysis focuses on Christian Bök, Darren Wershler, and Jeramy Dodds, and uses a variety of theoretical approaches including those of Deleuze and Guattari, Lacan, the Toronto Research Group (trg), translation theory, McLuhan, Baudrillard, and Žižek in order to better apprehend the implications of enantiomorphosis for avant-gardist experiment. Definitions
more » ... f enantiomorphosis are not initially receptive to an association with problems of translation; however, I will demonstrate that enantiomorphosis is an unrecognized strategy of Canadian avant-gardist practice by first considering it as a modality of the mirror, and subsequently as a modality of translation. Enanti means "facing" and is from en (in) anti (against) and morph (form). "Enantiomorph" is a term used in chemistry and crystallography that describes the relation between two crystalline or geometric forms that are mirror images of each other. Related terms in this context are "enantiomer" and/or "optical isomer. " Deleuze and Guattari extend the word's meaning beyond its scientific sense: This is the sense in which Canetti speaks of "enantiomorphosis": a regime that involves a hieratic and immutable Master who at every moment legislates by constants, prohibiting or strictly limiting metamorphoses, giving figures clear and stable contours, setting forms in opposition two by two[.] (Plateaus 107) Deleuze and Guattari use the Greek enantio, "to oppose" (Plateaus 528), to render the term from Elias Canetti's German word Entwandlung (as opposed to Verwandlung which means "metamorphosis").
doi:10.14288/cl.v0i210-11.192821 fatcat:mw6f6mxyy5aotoaesn6wdklagq