Discrepant Engagement: Dissonance, Cross-Culturality and Experimental Writing

Overview

Discrepant Engagement addresses work by a number of authors not normally grouped under a common rubric - black writers from the United States and the Caribbean and the so-called Black Mountain poets: Amiri Baraka, Clarence Major, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Wilson Harris, and others. Nathaniel Mackey examines the ways in which the experimental aspects of their work advance a critique of the assumptions that underlie conventional perceptions and practice. Mackey, arguing ...
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Overview

Discrepant Engagement addresses work by a number of authors not normally grouped under a common rubric - black writers from the United States and the Caribbean and the so-called Black Mountain poets: Amiri Baraka, Clarence Major, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Wilson Harris, and others. Nathaniel Mackey examines the ways in which the experimental aspects of their work advance a critique of the assumptions that underlie conventional perceptions and practice. Mackey, arguing that the work of these writers engages the discrepancy between presumed norms and qualities of experience that such norms fail to accommodate, highlights their valorization of dissonance, divergence, and formal disruption. He advances a cross-cultural mix that is uncommon in studies of experimental writing, frequently bringing the works and ideas of the authors it addresses into dialogue and juxtaposition with one another. And he shows that parallels, counterpoint, and relevance to one another exist among writers otherwise separated by ethnic and regional boundaries.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Insisting on the political importance of radical innovation without the trappings of intellectual fashion, tempered by an awareness of the historical scale of his assertions, and challenging liberal notions of cultural pluralism and artistic opposition, Nathaniel Mackey makes an important, sophisticated contribution to current debates about cultural diversity and the political relevance of experimental writing."
—Contemporary Literature

"Nathaniel Mackey has accomplished his task admirably. Discrepant Engagement demands from us an openness to alternative frames of reference and a recognition of the ways in which traditional categories restrict our own perceptions of the potential for intertextuality among cultures, literary schools, races, regions, and rubrics."
—African American Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Nathaniel Mackey is Professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: and all the birds sing bass; 2. The changing same: black music in the Poetry of Amiri Baraka; 2. To define an ultimate dimness: the poetry of Clarence Major; 4. The world-poem in microcosm: Robert Duncans 'The Continent'; 5. Uroboro's: Robert Duncan's Dante and A Seventeenth Century Suite; 6. Robert Creeley's The Gold Diggers: Projective prose; 7. That words can be on the page: the graphic aspect of Charles Olson's poetics; 8. New series 1 (Folk series): Edward Kamau Brathwaite's New World Trilogy; 9. Limbo, dislocation, phantom limb: Wilson Harris and the Caribbean occasion; 10. Poseidon (Dub version); 11. The unruly pivot: Wilson Harris's The Eye of the Scarecrow; 12. The Imagination of Justice: Wilson Harris's Ascent to Omai; 13. Sound and sentiment, sound and symbol; 14. On edge; 15. Other: from noun to verb; Notes; Index.

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