Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.713962
Title: Trying to have it both ways : John Ashbery and Anglo-American exchange
Author: Hazzard, Oli
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
This dissertation explores John Ashbery's interactions with several generations of English poets, during a period which ranges from the late 1940s to the present day. It seeks to support two principle propositions: that Ashbery's engagements with contemporaneous English poets had a decisive influence on his poetic development; and that Ashbery's own poetic and critical work can be employed to revise our understanding of mid-to-late 20th century English poetry. The dissertation demonstrates that Ashbery's relationships with four English poets - W.H. Auden, F.T. Prince, Lee Harwood and Mark Ford - occurred at significant junctures in, and altered the course of, his poetic development. Ashbery's critical and poetic engagements with these poets, when read together, are shown to constitute an idiosyncratic but coherent re-reading of the English poetry of the past and present. The dissertation addresses the ways in which each poet theorises the difficulties posed, and opportunities afforded, by perceived changes in Anglo-American poetic relations at different points during the 20th century. Chapter one re-evaluates Ashbery's relationship with Auden. It traces the legacy of Auden's coterie poetics in The Orators for Ashbery and Frank O'Hara, offers a revisionary reading of The Vermont Notebook as a strident response to Auden's late-career conservativism, and reads in depth Ashbery's unpublished, highly ambivalent elegy for him, "If I had My Way, Dear". Chapter Two attends to the extensive correspondence between Ashbery and Prince, argues that Prince's work provided a model for Ashbery's "encrypted" early lyrics addressing his homosexuality, and reads "Clepsydra" as an early elaboration of Ashbery's conception of a reciprocal influential model. Chapter Three examines Lee Harwood's "imitations" of Ashbery, and considers the latter's first critical formation of an English "other tradition" through his association of Harwood with the work of John Clare. Chapter Four portrays Ashbery's relationship with Mark Ford as a successful enactment of reciprocal influence, a form of engagement which allows Ashbery a means to "shake off his own influence" and to retain his status as a "major minor writer".
Supervisor: Bush, Ronald Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.713962  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature and transnationalism ; English poetry--20th century--History and criticism ; American poetry--English influences ; American poetry--20th century--History and criticism
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