By Stephen Fredman
This Concise significant other supplies readers a wealthy feel of the way the poetry produced within the usa throughout the 20th century is attached to the country’s highbrow existence extra greatly. is helping readers to totally savor the poetry of the interval via tracing its ancient and cultural contexts. Written via well-known experts within the box. areas the poetry of the interval inside contexts equivalent to: struggle; feminism and the feminine poet; poetries of immigration and migration; communism and anti-communism; philosophy and thought. every one bankruptcy levels around the whole century, evaluating poets from one a part of the century to these of one other. New syntheses make the quantity of curiosity to students in addition to scholars and basic readers.
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Additional info for A Concise Companion to Twentieth-Century American Poetry (Concise Companions to Literature and Culture)
Blind capitals! Demonic industries! Spectral nations! Invincible mad-houses! Granite cocks! ” (Ginsberg 1995: 131–2). Ginsberg’s “howl” is against not only these literal spaces of miserable conﬁnement, but 13 Peter Nicholls against a closed language which can be broken open only by something as primitive and inchoate as a howl. And by closure here I mean exactly what Roland Barthes meant when he wrote of totalitarianism as a world in which: deﬁnition, that is to say the separation between Good and Evil, becomes the sole content of all language, there are no more words without values attached to them, so that ﬁnally the function of writing is to cut out one stage of a process: there is no more lapse of time between naming and judging, and the closed character of language is perfected, since in the last analysis it is a value which is given as explanation of another value.
It’s not surprising that Gertrude Stein is often thought of as a progenitor of Language writing, since what Bernstein describes here could apply equally to her way of “seeing” wars. The difference is, perhaps, that for Bernstein the poet is no longer bound to write about wars directly, since the Enlightenment values so fatally discredited in the Second War – values associated with “patriarchy, authority, rationality, order, control” (p. 198) – are ever present to us in their degraded form and continue to “manipulate and dominate us” in “everyday” language (p.
Cummings, and Archibald MacLeish employed distanced ironies to deplore the high-ﬂown rhetoric that led so many innocents to their death. The poets of World War II began to write of a phenomenon that has continued to occupy poets of the Vietnam War and subsequent wars, which involves another kind of distance – that of pilots in bombers or civilians in front of television screens, observing murderous destruction in a weird air of unreality. If war has applied one kind of nearly constant pressure to the language of American poetry, then British poetry can be seen as applying a similarly ubiquitous pressure on the self-conception of American poetry, for British poetry represents the tradition of English-language poetry to which US poets are always comparing themselves.
A Concise Companion to Twentieth-Century American Poetry (Concise Companions to Literature and Culture) by Stephen Fredman