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Differentials, Differentials, 0817314210, 0-8173-1421-0, 978-0-8173-1421-7, 9780817314217, , , Differentials, 0817351280, 0-8173-5128-0, 978-0-8173-5128-1, 9780817351281, , , Differentials, 0817382216, 0-8173-8221-6, 978-0-8173-8221-6, 9780817382216,

Poetry, Poetics, Pedagogy
Marjorie Perloff

Quality Paper
2004. 344 pp.
No illus.
Price:  $34.95 s
E Book
2009. 344 pp.
Price:  $34.95 d

A new collection of essays from a distinguished critic of contemporary poetry.

Marjorie Perloff is one of the foremost critics of contemporary American poetry writing today. Her works are credited by many with creating and sustaining new critical interest not only in the work of major modernist poets such as Yeats, Pound, Eliot, and Williams but also in the postwar tradition of American poetic innovation that ranges from the Black Mountain poets, through the New York School and concrete poetry, to the Language Poets of the 1980s and '90s.

In Differentials, Perloff explores and defends her belief in the power of close reading, a strategy often maligned as reactionary in today's critical climate but which, when construed differentially, is vital, she believes, to any true understanding of a literary or poetic work, irrespective of how traditional or experimental it is. Perloff also examines key issues in modernism, from Eliot's conservative poetics and Pound's nominalism to translation theory (Wittgenstein, Eugene Jolas, Haroldo de Campos), and the contemporary avant garde, as represented by writers like Susan Howe, Tom Raworth, Rae Armantrout, Ron Silliman, Ronald Johnson, Caroline Bergvall, and Kenneth Goldsmith.

Ultimately, Perloff's most important offerings in Differentials are her remarkably original reflections on the aesthetic process: on how poetry works, and what it means, in and for our time.

Marjorie Perloff is Sadie D. Patek Professor Emerita of Humanities at Stanford University and author of many books, including The Futurist Moment, Wittgenstein's Ladder, Twenty-First Century Modernism, and The Vienna Paradox, a cultural memoir.

"The only way to get a poem, Marjorie Perloff reminds us, is to read it, word for word, line by line. As we have come to expect, this book is learned, provocative and illuminating, a joyful celebration of the pleasures of the text, and a passionate argument for difference."--Peter Quartermain, author of Disjunctive Poetics from Gertrude Stein and Louis Zukovsky to Susan Howe

"Reading 'differently' Marjorie Perloff makes distinctions--between poem and poem, word and word, critical commonplace and literacy innovation. She unwraps the most recalcitrant works of literacy modernism with an unerring eye for the salient detail and the polylingual pun. The essays in Differentials constitute an impassioned manifesto for the worth of the humanities in a time of institutional balkanization and theoretical vastation. She also writes a spirited defense of difficult poetry against sound byte and knowledge lite."--Michael Davidson, author of Ghostlier Demarcations: Modern Poetry and the Material World

"Differentials offers readings with a difference, discovering textual difficulty as a source of pleasure and restoring to literary analysis an excitement we had almost forgotten it might have."--Peter Nicholls, author of Modernisms: A Literary Guide

2004 Robert Warren-Cleanth Brooks Award, sponsored by Center for Robert Penn Warren Studies