BN.com Gift Guide

Being Numerous: Poetry and the Ground of Social Life [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Because I am not silent," George Oppen wrote, "the poems are bad." What does it mean for the goodness of an art to depend upon its disappearance? In Being Numerous, Oren Izenberg offers a new way to understand the divisions that organize twentieth-century poetry. He argues that the most important conflict is not between styles or aesthetic politics, but between poets who seek to preserve or produce the incommensurable particularity of experience by making powerful objects, and poets whose radical commitment to abstract personhood seems ...

See more details below
Being Numerous: Poetry and the Ground of Social Life

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - Course Book)
$17.49
BN.com price
(Save 43%)$30.95 List Price

Overview

"Because I am not silent," George Oppen wrote, "the poems are bad." What does it mean for the goodness of an art to depend upon its disappearance? In Being Numerous, Oren Izenberg offers a new way to understand the divisions that organize twentieth-century poetry. He argues that the most important conflict is not between styles or aesthetic politics, but between poets who seek to preserve or produce the incommensurable particularity of experience by making powerful objects, and poets whose radical commitment to abstract personhood seems altogether incompatible with experience—and with poems. Reading across the apparent gulf that separates traditional and avant-garde poets, Izenberg reveals the common philosophical urgency that lies behind diverse forms of poetic difficulty—from Yeats's esoteric symbolism and Oppen's minimalism and silence to O'Hara's joyful slightness and the Language poets' rejection of traditional aesthetic satisfactions. For these poets, what begins as a practical question about the conduct of literary life—what distinguishes a poet or group of poets?—ends up as an ontological inquiry about social life: What is a person and how is a community possible? In the face of the violence and dislocation of the twentieth century, these poets resist their will to mastery, shy away from the sensual richness of their strongest work, and undermine the particularity of their imaginative and moral visions—all in an effort to allow personhood itself to emerge as an undeniable fact making an unrefusable claim.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Brooklyn Rail
A blazingly astute assessment of postmodern poetics, Oren Izenberg's Being Numerous examines the role contemporary poetry plays in representing being and what constitutes value of being.
— Jeffrey Cyphers Wright
Choice
[Izenberg] makes an intriguing case for focusing on the ontological dimension of poetic practice in general; readers might move beyond seeing the poem as a self-contained artifact and instead see it as a function of the poet's desire to define the person. . . .
Brooklyn Rail - Jeffrey Cyphers Wright
A blazingly astute assessment of postmodern poetics, Oren Izenberg's Being Numerous examines the role contemporary poetry plays in representing being and what constitutes value of being.
Contemporary Literature - Siobhan Phillips
Izenberg's conclusive meditation on known and unknown readers, then, seems to open and invite the readings that this book will generate, as it powerfully, scrupulously recalls us to the responsibilities inherent in any literary response.
From the Publisher
"A blazingly astute assessment of postmodern poetics, Oren Izenberg's Being Numerous examines the role contemporary poetry plays in representing being and what constitutes value of being."—Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, Brooklyn Rail

"[Izenberg] makes an intriguing case for focusing on the ontological dimension of poetic practice in general; readers might move beyond seeing the poem as a self-contained artifact and instead see it as a function of the poet's desire to define the person. . . ."Choice

"Izenberg's conclusive meditation on known and unknown readers, then, seems to open and invite the readings that this book will generate, as it powerfully, scrupulously recalls us to the responsibilities inherent in any literary response."—Siobhan Phillips, Contemporary Literature

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400836529
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/3/2011
  • Series: 20/21
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 248
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Oren Izenberg is a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
INTRODUCTION: Poems, Poetry, Personhood 1
CHAPTER ONE: White Thin Bone: Yeatsian Personhood 40
CHAPTER TWO: Oppen's Silence, Crusoe's Silence, and the Silence of Other Minds 78
CHAPTER THREE: The Justice of My Feelings for Frank O'Hara 107
CHAPTER FOUR: Language Poetry and Collective Life 138
CHAPTER FIVE: We Are Reading 164
Notes 189
Index 225
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)