vol. 4 No. 2 Dec. 2020

Prophetic Collage: Bella Li’s Lost Lake
Author:Amelia Dale    Time:2021-02-20    Click:

Abstract: With an eye to the workings of collage – in particular its prophetic temporality – I explore the collage practice of the Australian poet Bella Li, with a focus on her second book, Lost Lake (2018). Taking my cue from movements of broken or disjunctive association in Li’s work, I seek to mirror Li’s poetic collages with a reading that is itself both exploratory and associative. Beginning by commenting on the circularity of collage, this article itself becomes a kind of collage. Li’s surrealist practice, layering evocative object (word, image, idea) over evocative object, instigates a chain of associations. Via such sequences’ ellipses and associative chains, Li writes poetry as transtemporal collage, as a surrealist dream, and as prophecy of what was and is and is yet to come.

Keywords: Bella Li, collage, witchcraft, surrealism, Australian poetry

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