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The Grounding of American Poetry : Charles Olson and the Emersonian Tradition - Stephen Fredman

The Grounding of American Poetry

Charles Olson and the Emersonian Tradition

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Published: 28th May 1993
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Stephen Fredman asserts in his latest work that American poetry is groundless - that each generation of American poets faces the problem of identity anew and must discover for itself fresh meaning. His argument focuses on four pairs of poets - Eliot/Williams, Thoreau/Olson, Emerson/Duncan, and Whitman/Creeley - and points out that although Williams, Olson, Duncan, and Creeley are all influenced by these predecessors to some extent, ultimately their poetry is, paradoxically, grounded in an essential groundlessness.
In order to demonstrate how approaches to groundlessness have persisted over time, Fredman explores the various measures taken by these American poets to provide a provisional ground upon which to construct their poetry: inventing idiosyncratic traditions, forming poetic communities, engaging in polemical prose, assessing all the dimensions of particular places, and treating words as emblematic and mysterious objects. At the very core of the book stands Charles Olson, whose work so dramatically articulates the whole range of issues arising from the American poet's anxious search for, and resistance to, an authentic and unified tradition.

"..six chapters of excellent close readings." Choice "Cogent, persuasive and at times dazzling, this book makes an impressive and innovative contribution to understanding the influence of Emerson and the transcendentalists on the Black Mountain poets in particular, but also American poetic practice in general." Tim Woods, English

Introduction
Williams, Eliot and American tradition
Finding out for oneself
Resistance and poetic community
The poetics of recognition
Circles and boundaries
Conclusion
Notes
Index.
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521443036
ISBN-10: 0521443032
Series: Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 186
Published: 28th May 1993
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.45