This essay explores the role of quotation in the writing of the poet-critic Craig Dworkin. Dworkin's "Dure," an ekphrastic prose poem concerning a Dürer self-portrait, is a complex meditation on selfhood, the representation of pain, and the nature of linguistic appropriation. "Dure" demonstrates that an appropriative, heavily quotational poetics can enact a process of therapeutic self-critique. To the postauthorial (and posthistorical) malaise of Barthes's "the text is a tissue of quotations," Dworkin responds with a self-portrait in a tissue of quotations, enacting a writing cure, or a writing-through cure. Extensively quotational works are often associated with parody and satire—but such works, this essay suggests, can also be sincere in intent, and can mourn, as well as heal, by thematizing intersubjectivity. Although Dworkin elsewhere advocates a poetics "of intellect rather than emotion," this essay claims that "Dure" enacts something along the lines of a return to expressive autobiography, somewhat paradoxically by way of a poetics of citationality.

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