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Fables of Representation


Paul Hoover

Publication Year: 2004

From the acclaimed author of Winter (Mirror) and Rehearsal in Black, Fables of Representation is a powerful collection of essays on the state of contemporary poetry, free from the stultifying theoretical jargon of recent literary history. With its title essay, "Fables of Representation," one of the most cogent studies ever written of the New York School of poets (a group that includes the influential poet John Ashbery), this book is required reading for anyone who seeks to understand the poetry and culture of the postmodern period. Author Paul Hoover's wide-ranging subjects include African-American interdisciplinary studies; the position of poetry in the electronic age; the notion of doubleness in the work of Harryette Mullen and others; the lyricism of the New York School poets; and the role of reality in American poetry. Hoover also introduces two provocative essays sure to generate attention and discussion: "The Postmodern Era: A Final Exam" and "The New Millennium: Fifty Statements on Literature and Culture." Paul Hoover is the editor of the anthology Postmodern American Poetry and author of nine poetry collections, including Totem and Shadow: New and Selected Poems and Viridian. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry Review, The New Republic, and The Paris Review, among others. He is Poet-in-Residence at Columbia College, Chicago.

Published by: University of Michigan Press

Series: Poets on Poetry


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The New Millenium: Fifty Statements on Literature and Culture

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pp. 1-3

(Agree or Disagree) ...

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Murder and Closure: On the Impression of Reality in American Poetry

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pp. 4-25

Where there is belief, there is millennial fervor. But belief is in retreat. Among postmodern unbelievers, the approaching millennium has been greeted with a yawn. There has been no resurgence of fin de si

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Pair of Figures for Eshu: Doubling of Consciousness in the Work of Kerry James Marshall and Nathaniel Mackey

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pp. 26-55

In Du Bois’s view, Emancipation brought to the American Negro a “dawning self-consciousness, self-realization, self-respect” (41). But with the birth of self-consciousness, the former slave sees his own soul “darkly as through a veil,” with only “some faint revelation of his power, his mission” (41). Du Bois’s “double consciousness” inevitably brings to mind ...

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Stark Strangled Banjos: Linguistic Doubleness in the Work of David Hammons, Harryette Mullen, and Al Hibbler

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pp. 56-72

In The Signifying Monkey, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., identifies Eshu as the most powerful of the Yoruban gods because of his powers of interpretation. A “divine linguist,” Eshu is represented in Yoruba sculptures as holding a calabash in his hands: ...

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The Postmodern Era: A Final Exam

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pp. 73-75

True or False/Multiple Choice (two points each): ...

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Fables of Representation: Poetry of the New York School

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pp. 76-127

Since discovering Ron Padgett’s Great Balls of Fire in a Chicago classroom in 1971, I have been drawn to the poets of the New York School. From its Joe Brainard cover design to the sonnet “Nothing in That Drawer,” which consists entirely of the title line, the book promised something quite different from the ...

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Upper Limit Music (Counted Verse)

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pp. 128-135

Counted verse operates by the number of words rather than the number of syllables and stresses to the line. It is not primarily syllabic and accentual, though it obviously has those features. As Dana Gioia suggested in conversation, it reminds us that there are two kinds of lines, the visual and the aural. Often the appearance ...

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The New Modernism

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pp. 136-144

The editors of Green Mountains Review have assigned the difficult task of prophecy, to determine “both the state of poetry now and what current trends predict for the writing of the future.” I suggested in my introduction to the anthology Postmodern American Poetry (W. W. Norton, 1994) that postmodernism, as an ...

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A Score for Undetermined Moments

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pp. 145-162

The following interview was conducted by Chad Faries and Jayson Iwen in a small deli in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward district in November 14, 1999, the morning after Paul Hoover’s visit to the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee where he had done a reading and a Q&A session. It moves sequentially from ...

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The Poet in His Skin: Remembering Paul Carroll

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pp. 163-171

I first spoke with Paul Carroll in 1971 when as director he called to tell me of my acceptance to the Program for Writers at University of Illinois in Chicago. The enthusiasm in his voice surprised me. I had applied on the basis of the ten poems I’d written up to that time and had no confidence in what I was doing. ...

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Last Chicago Days: In Memory of Ted Berrigan

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pp. 172-174

In the late seventies, when Ted Berrigan and Alice Notley announced they were returning to New York City at the end of Ted’s fall semester at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, all the younger poets were stunned. He had taught there for about five years, but some sort of dispute had arisen ...

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Journals of Addiction

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pp. 175-179

In 1958, the graduate student editors of the Chicago Review, Paul Carroll and Irving Rosenthal, published excerpts from an unpublished—and seemingly unpublishable—novel The Naked Lunch by an unknown author named William S. Burroughs. The excerpt had been sent to the editors by Burroughs’s friend and ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780472026012
E-ISBN-10: 0472026011
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472068562
Print-ISBN-10: 0472068563

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2004

Series Title: Poets on Poetry
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OCLC Number: 655250024
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Fables of Representation

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Subject Headings

  • Poetry.
  • American poetry -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
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