The Zukofsky Era
Modernity, Margins, and the Avant-Garde
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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This project has benefi ted from generous support and wise counsel. Lyn Hejinian presided over its fi rst stage at the University of California, Berkeley, off ering her time and erudition far beyond what this pupil might have hoped for. Abdul JanMohamed and Colleen Lye were similarly giving of their time and critical acumen....
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This book takes as its object of study the Depression-era works of three poets who constellated around the aesthetic nexus of Objectivism: Louis Zukofsky, George Oppen, and Lorine Niedecker.1 Objectivism was a high modernism, but it was also a modernism whose...
I: The Uneven Poetics of Radical Parataxis
1. Zukofsky: The Political Economy of Revolutionary Modernism
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In the fi elds of modern and contemporary poetics in particular and cultural studies in general, recent scholarship has turned to world systems theory and critical geography to situate questions of culture in a global matrix. Increasingly, literary theorists and scholars are deploying the social-scientifi c concepts of center, margin, core, periphery, and uneven development in order to problematize critical...
2. G. Oppen, Materialiste: Cinematic Capitalism
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George Oppen’s fi rst published work, Discrete Series (1934), at once marked the poet’s entrance and then-indefi nite departure from the world of literary modernism. Composed of thirty-one poems with relations that often vex, Discrete Series was Oppen’s last...
II: The Commodity’s Inscape
3. Zukofsky: The Voice of the Fetish
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Throughout the mid-1930s, Pound and Zukofsky carried on a sometimes congenial, sometimes explosive epistolary relationship. They debated, among other things, the nature of the commodity form; the political stakes and ideological underpinnings of anti-Semitism; the role...
4. Niedecker: The Interior Voice Commodified
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Just prior to Jenny Penberthy’s 1996 discovery of Lorine Niedecker’s “Next Year Or I Fly My Rounds Tempestuous” in Zukofsky’s archive, National Poetry Foundation then director Burton Hatlen found her expanded version of the 1933 poem Progression buried in Pound’s papers at the Beinecke Library. If critical accounts of Niedecker’s surrealist
III: The Objectivist Reflex
5. Zukofsky: Counterfetishistic Literacy
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The previous chapters visited Objectivism’s theater of confrontation, where it, by turns sober and wildly imaginative, faced off with tumultuous, uneven developments and resiliently undead commodities. In battling these mediations of Depression-era American crisis capitalism, Objectivism poses a deeply strategic and utopian question: what kind of poetics are adequate to the collectives and individuals radicalized...
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Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 1 b&w illustration
Publication Year: 2012