From Modernism to Postmodernism: American Poetry and Theory by Jennifer Ashton

By Jennifer Ashton

During this evaluate of twentieth-century American poetry, Jennifer Ashton examines the connection among modernist and postmodernist American poetics. Ashton strikes among the long-lasting figures of yankee modernism - Stein, Williams, Pound - and advancements in modern American poetry to teach how modern poetics, in particular the college often called language poetry, have tried to redefine the modernist legacy. She explores the complicated currents of poetic and highbrow curiosity that attach modern poets with their modernist forebears. The works of poets reminiscent of Gertrude Stein and John Ashbery are defined and analysed intimately. This significant account of the main subject matters in twentieth-century poetry and poetics develops vital how one can learn either modernist and postmodernist poetry via their similarities in addition to their alterations. it will likely be of curiosity to all operating in American literature, to modernists, and to students of twentieth-century poetry.

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The reader, in other words, like the players in Ashbery’s telephone game, will inevitably experience a whole host of effects that could not have been intended by the author. For McCaffery and the “Aesthetic Tendency” writers alike, the idea that the text consists of these effects – is, in fact reconstituted every time it is read – is the basis for the idea that readers and poets are equal agents in the production of the poem. 26 From Modernism to Postmodernism At this point we can see that “production” serves as a corrective to the category of intention in a critique whose aims are declared to be both aesthetic and political.

Mb. . l . n. . mAgiC “moon” and “stars” and lentil agaze23 The volatility of the text – here the very means by which its signifiers circulate – consists entirely in its capacity to be imaginatively altered by the reader. Like Hejinian’s Writing Is an Aid to Memory, Bernstein’s Disfrutes is supposed to solicit the reader to construct the text, which in this case means supplying not suffixes or prefixes or roots of words, but linguistic material of the most “literal” kind, individual letters. ” Consequently, McCaffery argues, the reader’s active participation in “the order of production” means that the text has “no concern with.

In “Aesthetic Tendency and the Politics of Poetry: A Manifesto,” Ron Silliman, Carla Harryman, Lyn Hejinian, Steve Benson, Bob Perelman, and Barrett Watten focus on their actual collaborations with each other: “If there has been one premise of our group that approaches the status of a first principle, it has been. ” And the point of both kinds of collaboration is to present an alternative to the “replaceable components of workshop reading circuits, summer writing programs, and appreciative reviews” (“Aesthetic Tendency,” 271).

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