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Title: Mappemunde and fluent mundo : Charles Olson and the antithetical tradition : a study of the American long poem
Author: Harding, A. S. P. W.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1997
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Abstract:
The thesis compares the conceptualization and practice of poetry through Emerson, Whitman, Pound, Stevens and Olson. The methodology describes poems as prosodic event-structures, paying particular attention to the relations between the genesis of the text and the various contexts (cultural, historical, linguistic, political, psycho-sexual) within which it comes into being. Emerson's writing is assessed in the context of Romantic appropriations of Nature and the relations between narcissism and an "ethical practice" of language. His problems with the representation of negativity and its relation to the futurity of a "new world" are seen powerfully to determine subsequent poetics. An analysis of Whitman's "Song of Myself" examines the practice of "writing as community" central to the "American epic", uncovering the dynamic relation between his poetic egotism and his ethos of "democracy". His dramatic "contradictions" of Emerson provide an insistently antithetical model for Pound. The thesis then moves on to Pound's preparations for The Cantos in "Mauberley" and its evacuations of personality, designed to secure the surface of the poem against the ingressions of subjectivity he derided in Whitman. The Cantos, though, are seen to be driven by imperatives of "poetic meaning" similar to those of Whitman. The Whitman/Pound encounter provides an analysis of the performative economy of the subject's voice in poetic forms. Stevens's "ontological syntax" and semantics of his falsely Whitmanian "mythology of self" are examined in "The Comedian as the Letter C". The repression of the political in "Owl's Clover" in favour of an internalized poetic phenomenology is seen to bear paradoxical resemblances to Pound's procedures.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.603690  DOI: Not available
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