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ZWICKY, JAN, 1955-

Jan Zwicky fonds - Oct. 5, 1981-1996 - 2.2 meters of textual record.

Biographical Sketch

A native of Alberta, Jan Zwicky is a poet, musician and philosopher. Author of a number of works of poetry: including Where Have We Been (1982), Wittgenstein Elegies (1986), and The New Room (1989). Jan Zwicky was awarded the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry in 1999 for her Songs for Relinquishing the Earth (1998). Jan Zwicky has also been an editor for Brick Books since 1986.

Jan Zwicky received a B.A. from the University of Calgary and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Toronto. She has taught at a number of North American Universities: teaching philosophy at Princeton, philosophy and interdisciplinary studies at the University of Waterloo; philosophy at the University of Western Ontario; philosophy and creative writing at the University of New Brunswick; philosophy at the University of Alberta; and she has been teaching philosophy at the University of Victoria since 1996. Jan Zwicky was on faculty at the Banff Centre Writing Studio in 1995 and in 2001.

Jan Zwicky has a long-held interest in the philosophy of Viennese philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and in environmental concerns. She is also a violinist and worked in many orchestras including the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London and the Windsor Symphony as well as many chamber music ensembles.

Jan Zwicky is an essayist on music, philosophy and poetry and her poetic, musical and philosophical interests intertwine in her works of poetry and in her works of philosophy. Her works of poetry display this melding of interest most notably in Wittgenstein Elegies and in the dialogic poem "Kant and Bruckner" in Songs for Relinquishing the Earth. Lyric Philosophy (1992) argues that philosophy must expand its self-definition beyond analysis if it is to be true to its own ideals, and to many of the works it includes in its canon. Its two central metaphysical notions, lyric and domesticity, are developed against the backdrop of systematic analysis. They are rooted in an exploration of the concept of time, and form the basis of a re-reading of Wittgenstein. The text's format is double: Zwicky's own fragments (left side) are paired against excerpts from other philosophers, and of music, visual art and poetry. Through these ways of combining and providing ground for philosophy, literature and music to interact Jan Zwicky is a multi-disciplinary artist and scholar.

Scope and Content

The fonds contain: correspondence; drafts and accompanying proofs and notes for Zwicky's works of poetry and prose from the 1980's and early 1990's as well as material from her work as an editor. The fonds contain the following series: Series I. Correspondence, Series II. Poetry, Series III. Philosophy, and Series IV. Editorial Work.

Immediate Source of Acquisition: received directly from Jan Zwicky in 2001 [2001-04].

Restrictions on Access and Use: Jan Zwicky's written permission must be obtained in order to view material. Several correspondence files are restricted and cannot be accessed by researchers for a period of 50 years [until 2051].

Finding Aid: Detailed finding aid available; file level control.

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