The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics / Edition 2by Rachel Blau DuPlessis
Pub. Date: 07/22/1999
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
"Objectivist" writers, conjoined through a variety of personal, ideological, and literary-historical links, have, from the late 1920s to the present, attracted emulation and suspicion. Representing a nonsymbolist, postimagist poetics and characterized by a historical, realist, antimythological worldview, Objectivists have retained their outsider status.
"Objectivist" writers, conjoined through a variety of personal, ideological, and literary-historical links, have, from the late 1920s to the present, attracted emulation and suspicion. Representing a nonsymbolist, postimagist poetics and characterized by a historical, realist, antimythological worldview, Objectivists have retained their outsider status. Despite such status, however, the formal, intellectual, ideological, and ethical concerns of the Objectivist nexus have increasingly influenced poetry and poetics in the United States.
Thus, argue editors Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Peter Quartermain, the time has come for an anthology that unites essential works on Objectivist practices and presents Objectivist writing as an enlargement of the possibilities of poetry rather than as a determinable and definable literary movement. The authors' collective aim is to bring attention to this group of poets and to exemplify and specify cultural readings for poetic texts--readings alert to the material world, politics, society, and history, and readings concerned with the production, dissemination, and reception of poetic texts.
The contributors consider Basil Bunting, Lorine Niedecker, George Oppen, Carl Rakosi, Charles Reznikoff, and Louis Zukofsky within both their historical milieu and our own. The essays insist on poetry as a mode of thought; analyze and evaluate Objectivist politics; focus on the ethical, spiritual, and religious issues raised by certain Objectivist affiliations with Judaism; and explore the dissemination of poetic texts and the vagaries of Objectivist reception. Running throughout the book are two related threads: Objectivist writing as generally a practice aware of its own historical and social contingency and Objectivist writing as a site of complexity, contestation, interrogation, and disagreement.
Table of Contents
Introduction Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Peter Quartermain,
I. "We Said / Objectivist": Optics, Objectification, Sincerity, Seriality,
1. The Objectivist Tradition Charles Altieri,
2. A Poetics of Marginality and Resistance: The Objectivist Poets in Context Burton Hatlen,
3. Be Aware of "the Medusa's Glance": The Objectivist Lens and Carl Rakosi's Poetics of Strabismal Seeing Ming-Qian Ma,
4. George Oppen's Serial Poems Alan Golding,
II. Politics, Class, and Ideology,
5. Communists and Objectivists Eric Homberger,
6. Irrelevant Objects: Basil Bunting's Poetry of the 1930s John Seed,
7. Objectivists in the Thirties: Utopocalyptic Moments Michael Heller,
8. Lorine Niedecker's "Folk Base" and Her Challenge to the American Avant-Garde Peter Middleton,
III. Ethics and Religious Culture,
9. Tradition and Modernity, Judaism and Objectivism: The Poetry of Charles Reznikoff Norman Finkelstein,
10. Reznikoff's Nearness Charles Bernstein,
11. Of Being Ethical: Reflections on George Oppen Peter Nicholls,
12. Reading Reznikoff: Zukofsky, Oppen, and Niedecker Robert Franciosi,
13. Zukofsky's List Andrew Crozier,
14. "And All Now Is War": George Oppen, Charles Olson, and the Problem of Literary Generations Stephen Fredman,
15. Land's End Yves di Manno,
16. The Transformations of Objectivism: An Afterword Charles Altieri,
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