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.
Contents Acknowledgments Introduction: Confessions of a Close Reader 000 1. Crisis in the Humanities? Reconfiguring Literary Study for the Twenty-first Century 000 2. Cunning Passages and Contrived Corridors: Rereading Eliot's "Gerontion" 000 3. The Search for "Prime Words": Pound, Duchamp, and the Nominalist Ethos 000 4. "But isn't the same at least the same?" Wittgenstein on Translation 000 5. "Logocinéma of the Frontiersman": Eugene Jolas's Multilingual Poetics and Its Legacies 000 6. "The Silence that is not Silence": Acoustic Art in Samuel Beckett's Radio Plays 000 7. Language Poetry and the Lyric Subject: Ron Silliman's Albany, Susan Howe's Buffalo 000 8. After Language Poetry: Innovation and Its Theoretical Discontents 000 9. The Invention of "Concrete Prose": Haroldo de Campos's Galaxias and After 000 10. Songs of the Earth: Ronald Johnson's Verbivocovisuals 000 11. The Oulipo Factor: The Procedural Poetics of Christian Bök and Caroline Bergvall 000 12. Filling the Space with Trace: Tom Raworth's "Letters from Yaddo" 000 13. Teaching the "New" Poetries: The Case of Rae Armantrout 000 14. Writing Poetry/Writing about Poetry: Some Problems of Affiliation 000 Notes 000 Index 000
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication: Literature, Modern History and criticism, Poetics