[»»] Main Site Homepage     [»»] Links to documents   [»»] Links to photos   OFFSITE: [»»] My Journal at

John Tranter: Theses relating to John Tranter’s writing

If you know of a thesis relating to my writing, I should be grateful if you would let me know about it: send an email to John Tranter at

        delta «åt» johntranter [døt] cøm

The email address has been disguised to prevent robot trawling programs from harvesting it for spamming purposes: replace «åt» with @, [døt] with a dot, cøm with com, and remove the blank spaces.

[»] John Tranter: Distant Voices: DCA thesis, University of Wollongong, 2009 (a large PDF file)


We know that all literature is a form of disguise,
a mask, a fable, a mystery: and behind the mask
is the author.
                      — Leon Edel

Abstract: ‘Distant Voices’ consists of two parts: a collection of poems and a thirty-thousand word exegesis.

The poems are presented in three groups.
In Vocoder four long poems explore, in different ways, the idea of displacing the authorial ego with a kind of writing at one or two removes, through the process of translation, ventriloquy, mask or disguise.
Speaking French presents 101 deliberate mistranslations of some of Rimbaud’s ‘Illuminations’ and poems by Baudelaire, Mallarmé and Verlaine.
At the Movies is a group of narrative, discursive and reflective poems that speak about various movies and their cultural settings.

The exegesis is also presented in three parts. In it the poet John Tranter is discussed in the third person.
Part 1: About the Poems discusses the means of production and some of the theoretical implications of the poems presented in this thesis, partly in the context of Tranter’s earlier work, as the poems develop, extend and criticise some of Tranter’s earlier literary strategies.
Part 2: Prior projects discusses Tranter’s forty-year career as a writer, editor, publisher, radio producer, critic and anthologist, relating these changing roles to the writing in his twenty-odd books and his other projects, and attempting to trace a developing strand of experimental practice that finds its apotheosis in the process of translation, ventriloquy, mask or disguise underlying the thesis poems.
Part 3: Dream-Work looks at the three poets who have most influenced his work: Arthur Rimbaud, the Australian hoax poet ‘Ern Malley’, and the contemporary US poet John Ashbery, and also at the tripartite structure qualifying much of Tranter’s writing. Poetry is seen to occupy a liminal position in the Venn diagram where three fields overlap: dream theory, movie creation and criticism, and literary creation and criticism.

[»] Katherine Furgol: Dwelling on The Floor of Heaven: An Analysis of John Tranter’s Verse Novel. (B.A. Thesis for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2006.)

Off-site: [»] Ted Nielsen: ‘Developments in Australian postmodernist poetry: a study of the poetry of John Tranter and John Forbes’. (B.A. Honours thesis, Department of English, James Cook University of North Queensland, Australia, 1993.)
Note: Not part of this site; it is instead available in PDF format at
To view the file you will need to use the free Acrobat PDF Reader; it can be downloaded from

E N D        The Internet address of this page is