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Author McGann, Jerome
Title The Point Is to Change It : Poetry and Criticism in the Continuing Present
Imprint Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, 2007
book jacket
Descript 1 online resource (266 pages)
text txt rdacontent
computer c rdamedia
online resource cr rdacarrier
Series Modern and Contemporary Poetics Ser
Modern and Contemporary Poetics Ser
Note Intro -- Contents -- Acknowledgments -- The Argument -- Poetry and the Privilege of Historical Backwardness -- 1. Philological Investigations -- PART I. IT MUST BE ABSTR ACT -- 2. Truth in the Body of Falsehood -- 3. The Alphabet, Spelt from Silliman's Leaves -- 4. The Apparatus of Loss: Bruce Andrews Writing -- PART I I. IT MUST CHANGE -- 5. Art and Error, with Special Thanks to the Poetry of Robert Duncan -- 6. Private Enigmas and Critical Functions, with Special Thanks to the Poetry of Charles Bernstein -- 7. From Sight to Shenandoah -- PART I I I. IT MUST GIV E PLEASURE -- 8. Marxism, Romanticism, Postmodernism: An American Case History -- 9. Looney Tunes and Unheard Melodies: An Oulipian Colonescapade, with a Critique of "The Great-Ape Love Song Corpus" and Its Lexicon -- PART IV. CONTINUING PRESENT -- 10. The Evidence of Things Not Seen: A Play -- 11. IVANHOE: A Playful Portrait -- 12. Modernity and Complicity: A Conversation with Johanna Drucker -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index
A preeminent critic maps the frontier of contemporary poetry. In this book, Jerome McGann argues that contemporary language-oriented writing implies a marked change in the way we think about our poetic tradition on one hand and in the future of criticism on the other. He focuses on Walter Benjamin and Gertrude Stein as important intellectual resources because both see the history of poetry as a crisis of the present rather than as a legacy of the past. The crisis appears as a poetic deficit in contemporary culture, where values of politics and morality are judged prima facie more important than aesthetic values. McGann argues for the fundamental relevance of the aesthetic dimension and the contemporary relevance of cultural works of the past. McGann moves through several broad categories in his examination of contemporary poetry, including the ways in which poetry must be abstract, change, and give pleasure. The author draws on sources ranging from the poetry of Bruce Andrews and Robert Duncan to Looney Tunes cartoons. The experimental move in contemporary poetry, McGann contends, is an emergency signal for readers and critics as much as it is for writers and poets, a signal that calls us to rethink the aesthetics of criticism. The interpretation of literary works has been dominated by enlightenment models-the expository essay and monograph-for almost two hundred years. With the emergence of new media, especially digital culture, the limitations of those models have grown increasingly apparent. The Point Is To Change It explores alternative critical methods and provides a powerful call to reinvent our modes of investigation in order to escape the limitations of our inherited academic models. The goal of this process is to widen existing cracks or create new ones because, as McGann points out via the lyrics of Leonard Cohen, "That's how the light
gets in."
Description based on publisher supplied metadata and other sources
Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, Michigan : ProQuest Ebook Central, 2020. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest Ebook Central affiliated libraries
Link Print version: McGann, Jerome The Point Is to Change It : Poetry and Criticism in the Continuing Present Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press,c2007 9780817315511
Subject American poetry -- 20th century -- History and criticism.;Experimental poetry, American -- History and criticism.;Modernism (Literature);Poetics.;Criticism
Electronic books
Alt Author Bernstein, Charles
Lazer, Hank
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