George Oppen and the Fate of Modernism [NOOK Book]

Overview

Regard for George Oppen's poetry has been growing steadily over the last decade. Peter Nicholls study offers a timely opportunity to engage with a body of work which can be both luminously simple and intriguingly opaque. Nicholls charts Oppen's commitment to Marxism and his later explorations of a 'poetics of being' inspired by Heidegger and Existentialism, providing detailed accounts of each of the poet's books. He is the first critic to draw extensively on the Oppen archive, with its thousands of pages of ...

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George Oppen and the Fate of Modernism

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Overview

Regard for George Oppen's poetry has been growing steadily over the last decade. Peter Nicholls study offers a timely opportunity to engage with a body of work which can be both luminously simple and intriguingly opaque. Nicholls charts Oppen's commitment to Marxism and his later explorations of a 'poetics of being' inspired by Heidegger and Existentialism, providing detailed accounts of each of the poet's books. He is the first critic to draw extensively on the Oppen archive, with its thousands of pages of largely unpublished notes and drafts for poems; in doing so, he is able to map the distinctive contours of Oppen's poetic thinking and to investigate the complex origins of many of his poems. Oppen emerges from this study as a writer of mercurial intensities for whom every poem costitutes a 'beginning again', a freeing of the mind from thoughts known in advance. A strikingly innovative and challenging poetics results from Oppen's attempt to avoid what he regards as the errors of the modernist avant-garde and to create instead a designedly 'impoverished' aesthetic which keeps poetry close to the grain of experience and to the political and ethical dilemmas it constantly poses.

About the Author:
Peter Nicholls is Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Sussex

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191527333
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/25/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Peter Nicholls is Professor of English at New York University. His publications include Ezra Pound: Politics, Economics and Writing, Modernisms: A Literary Guide, and many articles and essays on literature and theory. He recently co-edited with Laura Marcus The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature and is currently editor of the journal Textual Practice and co-director of The Centre for Modernist Studies at Sussex.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures     x
Abbreviations     xi
Note to the Reader     xii
Introduction     1
Beginning Again     4
Materials     30
'That it is', or This in Which     62
'What it is': Of Being Numerous     83
From Avant-Garde to Hegel     110
'A metaphysical edge': Seascape: Needle's Eye     136
'Out of the Whirl Wind': Myth of the Blaze and Primitive     162
Appendix A     194
Appendix B     197
Bibliography     203
Index     215

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