Quantum Poetics: Yeats, Pound, Eliot, and the Science of Modernism

Overview

Quantum Poetics examines the Modernist appropriation of scientific metaphors as part of a general search for the preverbal origins of poetry. The poetic possibilities offered by developments in scientific discourse intrigued Yeats, Eliot and Pound, writers intent on remapping the general theory of poetry. Using models supplied by physicists, Yeats sought for the basic units of poetic force, both through his sequence A Vision and through his belief in, and defense of, the purity of symbols. Daniel Albright ...

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Overview

Quantum Poetics examines the Modernist appropriation of scientific metaphors as part of a general search for the preverbal origins of poetry. The poetic possibilities offered by developments in scientific discourse intrigued Yeats, Eliot and Pound, writers intent on remapping the general theory of poetry. Using models supplied by physicists, Yeats sought for the basic units of poetic force, both through his sequence A Vision and through his belief in, and defense of, the purity of symbols. Daniel Albright demonstrates how Modernists created a whole new way of thinking about poetry and science as two different aspects of the same quest.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Albright presents an insightful and delightful study of the relationship between physics and poetry in the first half of the 20th century....Like all good studies, this one stimulates a desire to reread familiar material with new energy." R.T. Prus, Choice

"QUantun Poetics...takes modernism seriously and regards the attempt to define modernism across the arts as something worth doing. I recommend Quantum Poetics to you." Reed Way Dasenbrock, American Literature

"For an engagingly written introduction to the modernist struggle to reconcile the fluid nature of experience with a belief in consistent truths,...turn to the deft close readings in Quantum Poetics ." Suzanne Shimek, English Literature in Transition 1880-1920

"Albright's interpretations of Eliot are...brilliant, and his fresh and penetrating writing, along with his mastery of modernism, will lead readers to radical revisons of their own familiar perceptions of Eliot's wastelands and regenerations. Indeed, the virtue of Quantum Poetics is precisely this power of exciting the reader to return to and look in new ways at some well-traversed terrain." William Gorski, Isis

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521573054
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003
  • Pages: 317
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Notes on references; Introduction; Part I. Yeats's Waves: 1. Yeats's figures as reflections in water; 2. Yeats and the avant-garde; 3. The theme of homunculus: Yeats and Wyndham Lewis; 4. Yeats and the sublime; Part II. Pound's Particles: 5. Minima (elementary particles of modernist poetry); 6. Symbol (Yeats's precursor to Pound's image); 7. The decay of symbols; 8. Things in themselves (Pound's anti-allegorism); 9. Image (Kandinsky, Brancusi, Tchelitchew); 10. Units of rhythm (Antheil); 11. Ideogram; 12. Vortex; 13. The decay of vortices; 14. The null set (Hugh Selwyn Mauberley); Part III. Eliot's Waves: 15. Monadological metaphors in Eliot's early work; 16. Narratives tied in knots; 17. Christ-particles in Eliot's late work (relief form the waves); Bibliography; Index.

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