Cover

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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

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Pre-Monitions: Definitions, Explanations, Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-xxi

In this series of case studies, I argue that the American literary avantgarde comes out of the work of the socially marginalized. In the hands of deterritorialized writers, poetry, itself "antidiscursive" in the modern situation, cannot help but produce a level of vanguard experimentation, a shock of defamiliarization, a resonant disorientation that permits new consciousness. My purpose is not to claim that this or that avant...

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1. Introductions and Interdictions

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pp. 1-31

In 1967, James Carr, who was to sink into the obscurity of poverty, drugs, and mental illness, recorded the greatest version of the "greatest cheating song in soul history," entitled "The Dark End of the Street."1 The mournfully triumphant ballad of a clandestine love doomed to perish upon discovery has been covered many, many times, by (among...

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2. "Unmeaning Jargon" / Uncanonized Beatitude: Bob Kaufman, Poet

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pp. 32-76

Surrealist poet Bob Kaufman died in January of 1986. Prolific and flamboyant during the late fifties and early sixties, and again briefly productive in the seventies, he had drifted into silent obscurity by the time of his death, and died poverty-stricken and physically debilitated. He has remained, however, a revered...

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3. The Child Who Writes / The Child Who Died

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pp. 77-141

In his essay "Mass Culture as Woman: Modernism's Other," Andreas Huyssen outlines and criticizes the division readily apprehensible from his title, familiar at this point to conscientious critics of mass culture and high art alike. In this scheme, mass-cultural consumption plays the passive, undifferentiated, exploitable, and conservative woman to the masculinist...

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4. Dirty Jokes and Angels: Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan Writing the Gay Community

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pp. 142-201

In 1855, Walt Whitman, an unknown journalist of working-class origin, answered Emerson's call for a national poet1 sending the latter a copy of his self-published Leaves of Grass, the opening essay of which quite clearly proposed Whitman himself as the poet laureate of the United States, as both its spiritual avatar and its democratic representative. 2 Although...

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5. Gertrude Stein's Doggerel "Yiddish": Women, Dogs, and Jews

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pp. 202-235

The second epigraph, from Deleuze and Guattari's Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, sets forth a crucial if somewhat extravagant definition of their term "becoming-animal," a process which for them characterizes not only a typical and recurrent theme in Kafka's short stories but also Kafka's tortured and tortuous language use in general. Rendering the...

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Afterword: Closer than Close

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pp. 236-242

When I wrote to Susan Johnson asking permission to use her poetry in my book, I enclosed a copy of an article in which I had already done so (using only her first initial, since I'd been unable to locate her earlier). She wrote back that she'd read the article three times over and could I explain the passage on "teenage culture... (as) selfparodic and...

Notes

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pp. 243-278

Bibliography

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pp. 279-292

Index

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pp. 293-303

Permissions

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pp. 304-305

About the Author

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pp. 306-306