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Fallen from the Symboled World' : Precedents for the New Formalism - Wyatt Prunty

Fallen from the Symboled World'

Precedents for the New Formalism

Hardcover Published: 22nd February 1990
ISBN: 9780195057867
Number Of Pages: 334

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This study evaluates figure and form in contemporary poetry, especially the powers of simile and simile-like structures. Examining the works of Nemerov, Wilbur, Bowers, Hecht, Justice, Cunningham, Bishop, Van Duyn, Hollander, Pack, Kennedy, Ammons, Creeley, and Wright, Prunty argues that doubts about language, the tradition, and theistic assumptions embedded in the tradition have made simile and various simile-like arrangements into major modes of thought. From Lowell's early interest in the "similitudo" and the "phantasm" of Gilson, to Husserl's "phantasies" and Heidegger's interest in similitude, to the use made by contemporary poets of simile, he shows that metaphor--together with slippage, mimicry, synaphea, conjunctions, anacoluthon, chiasmus, and other simile-like patternings--have proven to be more trustworthy than symbol and allegory. Throughout the study, Prunty demonstrates that as uncertainty about language has changed from a predicament of mind to a new way of thinking, simile and simile-like occurrences have provided poetry with variational thought and constitutive power.

"Remarkable....Prunty's ultimate purpose is to define the basic difference between the poetry of the first half of this century and that of the second. It seems to me that he has achieved much greater success in this enterprise than has any other critic, and that he has in his interpretations of individual poems and poets restored the balance from an excessive concern with meter alone to a full appreciation of all aspects."--Hudson Review "Recommended, particularly to graduate students and faculty, for its considerable thought, extensive learning, and attention to poets too long underrated or not yet recognized."--Choice "Most valuable...is [Prunty's] reading of several poems by Mona Van Duyn, a poet often overlooked in discussions of poetry by American women."--Sewanee Review "Prunty's "Fallen From the Symboled World" is an excellent first book of literary criticism by a highly talented young poet-critic. Prunty writes from a very definite "formalist" viewpoint but this is always subordinated to the overriding question of figuration in the poems he discusses, and his assessment of contemporary American poetry is both stringent and refreshing. There won't be any mixed reactions to this book--you'll either love it or you'll hate it. People who like formal poetry will love it. And since that's the kind of poetry I like, I recommend it."--John T. Irwin, The Johns Hopkins University "Remarkable....Prunty's ultimate purpose is to define the basic difference between the poetry of the first half of this century and that of the second. It seems to me that he has achieved much greater success in this enterprise than has any other critic, and that he has in his interpretations of individual poems and poets restored the balance from an excessive concern with meter alone to a full appreciation of all aspects."--Hudson Review "Recommended, particularly to graduate students and faculty, for its considerable thought, extensive learning, and attention to poets too long underrated or not yet recognized."--Choice "Most valuable...is [Prunty's] reading of several poems by Mona Van Duyn, a poet often overlooked in discussions of poetry by American women."--Sewanee Review "Prunty's "Fallen From the Symboled World" is an excellent first book of literary criticism by a highly talented young poet-critic. Prunty writes from a very definite "formalist" viewpoint but this is always subordinated to the overriding question of figuration in the poems he discusses, and his assessment of contemporary American poetry is both stringent and refreshing. There won't be any mixed reactions to this book--you'll either love it or you'll hate it. People who like formal poetry will love it. And since that's the kind of poetry I like, I recommend it."--John T. Irwin, The Johns Hopkins University

Introductionp. 3
Symbol, Allegory, Causality, and the Phenomenal Fluxp. 23
Emaciated Poetry and the Imaginative Dietp. 57
Poems That Speak, Poems That Singp. 89
Howard Nemerov: Mimicry and Other Tropesp. 143
Patterns of Similitude in the Poetry of Justice, Hecht, Van Duyn, Bishop, Wilbur, Hollander, Pack, and Pinskyp. 193
Conclusionp. 293
Notesp. 301
Indexp. 311
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195057867
ISBN-10: 0195057864
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 334
Published: 22nd February 1990
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 16.1  x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.53