University of Alberta Press

Book details

Publication date: August 2013
Series: Robert Kroetsch Series
Keywords: Poetry;Canadian Literature;Film
Subject(s): POETRY / Canadian, Poetry;Canadian Literature;Film, Literature, Poetry, Film Studies
Publisher(s): The University of Alberta Press

Stephen Scobie. Stephen Scobie was born in Scotland and has lived in Canada since 1965, teaching at the Universities of Alberta and Victoria. A widely published poet, he won the Governor General's Award in 1980 for McAlmon's Chinese Opera. He has also published extensively in the criticism of Canadian literature. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Stephen Scobie lives in Victoria.

"Stephen Scobie's newest collection is a chronological, poetic study of the films of French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. And like the work of the man about whom Scobie writes, the book is pleasingly esoteric and sharply focused.... this book studies and examines Godard in a sharp and thrilling way, and Scobie invites his reader to further explore the world of the great filmmaker. Scobie's knowledge of Godard is vast, to be sure, but his poetics-and his love for the films-are what truly shine here." Kimmy Beach, ARC Poetry Magazine, February 2014 [full review at http://arcpoetry.ca/?p=7755]


“In the poem on one of Godard’s masterpieces, Weekend, Scobie writes: ‘What a rotten film / All we meet are crazy people / eating each other.’ A funny barb, with a hallucinatory development in the image, that works against expectation by insulting Godard’s film, the stanza stands on its own. At the same time, the ‘insult’ contains a quotation from the film, thus replicating Godard's own method of incessant quotation—deepening the poem for those who know the film…. Scobie’s poems intelligently engage Godard’s films.”

Jonathan Ball, Winnipeg Free Press


"The collection is held together by a dense net of recurring motifs.... At the Limit of Breath is a textual space where Godard's characters, places, images, and actors take on a Pirandellian existence, crossing borders of both poems and movies." 

Chiara Falangola and Michael Meagher, Canadian Literature

ISBNs: 9780888646712 978-0-88864-671-2 Title: at the limit of breath