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Black Riders : The Visible Language of Modernism - Jerome J. McGann

Black Riders

The Visible Language of Modernism

Paperback Published: 6th June 1993
ISBN: 9780691015446
Number Of Pages: 216

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"English literature," Yeats once noted, "has all but completely shaped itself in the printing press." Finding this true particularly of modernist writing, Jerome McGann demonstrates the extraordinary degree to which modernist styles are related to graphic and typographic design, to printed letters--"black riders" on a blank page--that create language for the eye. He sketches the relation of modernist writing to key developments in book design, beginning with the nineteenth-century renaissance of printing, and demonstrates the continued interest of postmodern writers in the "visible language" of modernism. McGann then offers a philosophical investigation into the relation of knowledge and truth to this kind of imaginative writing.

Exploring the work of writers like William Morris, Emily Dickinson, W. B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, and Gertrude Stein, as well as Laura Riding and Bob Brown, he shows how each exploits the visibilities of language, often by aligning their work with older traditions of so-called Adamic language. McGann argues that in modernist writing, philosophical nominalism emerges as a key aesthetic point of departure. Such writing thus develops a pragmatic and performative "answer to Plato" in the matter of poetry's relation to truth and philosophy.

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introduction: Modernism and the Renaissance of Printing, with Particular Reference to the Writing of Yeats, Stein, and Dickinsonp. 3
A Revolution of the Wordp. 43
"Thing to Mind": The Materialist Aesthetic of William Morrisp. 45
Composition as Explanation (of Modern and Postmodern Poetries)p. 76
Dichtung und Wahrheitp. 119
The Truth of Poetry. An Argumentp. 121
The Poetry of Truth. A Dialogue (on Dialogue)p. 151
Afterwordp. 176
Notesp. 181
Indexp. 191
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691015446
ISBN-10: 0691015449
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 6th June 1993
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.19 x 15.47  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.31