Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"Last scientists of the Whole": The poetics and politics of deep image
by Monaco, Peter, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2012, 218; 3551095
Abstract (Summary)

his dissertation focuses on how poetic vision, as it is considered in experimental and investigative American poetry, functions as a mode of critical discourse aimed at illuminating and reconsidering the role of the poet and the nature of her work in relation to the post-World War Two milieu and what I deem the "long 20th Century." As U.S. Cold War and contemporary ideology blurs the distinction between the public, private, and academic spheres, I argue that investigative and experimental poetics, specifically the work of the deep image poets, for whom the nature of language and its relation to and active participation in the formation of individual and collective identities, is engaged with material political struggles that emerge in the postmodern era. By simultaneously exploring new modes of critical discourse on the function of language that develop out of the historical avant garde, I argue that the deep image poets recognize a need for a new "world picture" in the wake of totalitarian and fascistic world visions. The poetic vision associated with deep image engages in a poetics of heterogeneity, contingency, experimentation with form and content, as well as forays into previously debased discourses of knowledge ranging from Renaissance era occult sciences to Jerome Rothenberg's insistence on an "ethnopoetics" which resuscitates and re-visions primordial, pre-modern, and global indigenous poetic forms. Previous studies on American poetry after the Second World War have focused on the rise of New Criticism and the development of academic modernism and "official verse culture," as well as the shift in governing assumptions in contemporary poetic practice. These studies also address the political and aesthetic impact of contemporary criticism on poetry readings, publishing, and the rise of accredited creative writing programs in colleges and universities. "Last Scientists of the Whole" contributes to this body of scholarship by offering an approach to theorizing poetic vision and the poetic as critical discourse with "political" agency, in opposition to the space that poetry is relegated to in popular and academic culture.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Joris, Pierre
Commitee: Byrd, Don, Noel, Tomas U.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: English
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, American literature
Keywords: Deep image, Kelly, Robert, Poetics, Rothenberg, Jerome
Publication Number: 3551095
ISBN: 978-1-267-88552-4
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