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Title: Kindness in modernist American poetry
Author: Dalton, Bridget
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 0682
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis poses the question, ‘can we find Kindness in modernist American poetry?’ It is a work comprised primarily of detailed and extended close readings that will track Kindness through selections from the works of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Louis Zukofsky, George Oppen and Charles Reznikoff. Working within an understanding that no interpretation can be naïve, this thesis argues a case for Kindness as a “grammar of reading” that accounts for the readerly experience of the neophyte by considering the notion of “reading in exile”. This is undertaken not only as an ethical step towards accessibility in texts that are conventionally identified as presenting a stark and difficult aesthetics but also with the historical considerations of the relationship between high art and mass culture, with which recent thought on modernism is concerned (Huyssen, Perelman, Jennison). This “grammar of reading” is developed through interpretations of twenty-­‐first century theorists such as Derek Attridge (“singularity”), Jane Bennett (“vibrant matter”) and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (“reparative reading” and the “paranoid position”). The theoretical work of this “grammar of reading” is based around the notion of “behaviour” as it evinces a potential critical position that can account for naïveté, vulnerability, and not knowing within reading and within poems themselves. The attendant aim of this project then is to explore the potential and implications of identifying a recognizable Kindness in early-­‐twentieth century modernist poetry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available