The Grounding of American Poetry: Charles Olson and the Emersonian Tradition

Cambridge University Press, 28/05/1993 - 170 páginas
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Stephen Fredman asserts in his latest work that American poetry is groundless--that each generation of American poets faces the problem of identity anew and discovers for itself fresh meaning. His argument focuses on four pairs--Eliot-Williams, Thoreau-Olson, Emerson-Duncan and Whitman-Creeley--and illustrates how Williams, Olson, Duncan and Creeley are all influenced by these predecessors to some extent but that ultimately their poetry is paradoxically grounded in an essential groundlessness. In order to demonstrate how approaches to groundlessness have persisted over time, Fredman explores the measures taken by these American poets to provide a provisional ground upon which to build their poetry: inventing idiosyncratic traditions, forming poetic communities, engaging in polemical prose, assessing all the dimensions of particular places, and treating words as emblematic and mysterious objects. At the very center of the book stands Charles Olson, whose work so dramatically articulates the whole range of issues arising from the American poet's anxious search for, and resistance to, an authentic and unified tradition.

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Finding out for oneself
Resistance and poetic community
The poetics of recognition
Circles and boundaries
Index 165
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