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Title: An argument without end : the repetitive structure of Jack Spicer's The holy grail
Author: Goar, James Wells
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 120X
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2012
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The aim of this critical thesis was to offer a new way of reading Jack Spicer's The Holy Grail, and through it, his other books. By recognizing that the serial poem is the repeated struggle between the poet and Spicer's proposed 'Outside' for command of the poem's composition, the reader is able to witness the act which both makes and is the serial poem. Such a study aims to show the complexity of Spicer's stated and unstated poetics as well as to add to the limited critical work on this important poet. Through an examination of Spicer's poetics in light of two contemporaries prominent in his lectures (Charles Olson and AlIen Ginsberg), as well as three predecessors (Andre Breton, T. S. Eliot and Sigmund Freud), and insights drawn from his critics, this investigation provides evidence that although Spicer's topics changed from book to book - and therefore the thematic vocabulary of the poems changed too - each serial poem is a recording of the instance of that particular poem's attempt to speak of its own composition. And, because each poem is a result of a reoccurring battle, each poem attempts to 'articulate' the same thing. These findings force the reader into a new understanding of Spicer's poetics, where the serial poet is no longer a passive vessel for the 'Outside' to control, but is instead an active combatant for control of the poem's composition; through this argument which has no end, the reader is able to witness the confrontation which created the poem; Spicer's serial poems are a blueprint of their own composition and provide instructions for practitioners who wish to compose their own serial poems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available