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AlBCTiCW Heview Murphy continuedfrom previous page ing from their initial educational commitments to subsequent artistic activation. And Jeanne Heuving offers this intriguing observation: "[i]conic objects disrupt symbolic systems." Indeed, the How2 archives afford any number of memorable moments. Among the most vibrant of the offerings is the Rosmarie Waldrop feature in Volume 1 Number 8 (2002). notably Linda Russo's "Poetics of Inflection: Rosmarie Waldrop and The Reproduction ofProfiles"; and Deborah Meadows's "Rosmarie Waldrop and the Poetics of Embodied Philosophy." Jeanne Heuving's "A Dialogue About Love [] the Modern World / Tracking Leslie Scalapino" offers an earnest exploration of difficult territory and a chronicling of resultant change in the critic's own process; and Linda Russo's "The Limited Scope of the Recuperative Model: a context for reading Joanne Kyger," illustrates how Kyger is both similar to yet different from other women writers of her generation. Laurie Price's "Notes on the Making of the Glass Book" comprises a rigorous and inventive description of Price's work on her Oaxaca-based project. And Kathleen Fraser's "Resisting Type: the Practice of Double Identity" proposes ideas that may well be emblematic of what it means to be an innovative artist, someone willing to extend one's training and encompass other discipline(s). At once supple and incisive, inventive and crystalline, How2 continually raises the bar as to what is possible under the mutual signs of feminist poetics and contemporary women's writing. It will doubtless continue to thrive, refining its mission even while expanding the scope of its readership. Sheila E. Murphy is the author offourteen books, most recently Incessant Seeds (Pavement Saw). Forthcoming this springfrom University ofAlberta Press is the collaborative work Continuations, with Douglas Barbour. Shefounded andfor twelve years coordinated the Scottsdale Centerfor the Arts Poetry Series. Close Reading Redux V. Nicholas LoLordo Simulcast: Four Experiments in Criticism Benjamin Friedlander University of Alabama Press 354 pages; paper, $29.95 Distant Reading: Performance, Readership, and Consumption in Contemporary Poetry Peter Middleton University of Alabama Press 241 pages; paper, $29.95 "Close reading of poetry is perilously out of date," remarks Peter Middleton in the midst of an exploratory essay on J. H. Prynne and his recent critics. Middleton argues (among other things) that the technical mastery of "new critical and modernist hermeneutics" has itself ossified into habit, and he proposes, instead, cocking an ear toward "the repertoire of semantic music emanating from the instruments, forms, friendships, beliefs, authorities, anarchisms, and even deaths of reception." For some time now, close reading has had an uneasy double status. The necessity of attention to particulars, of a certain attention to the work at hand, inevitably allows for a grey area where such attention is heightened and refined without necessarily being elevated to the level of explicit theory. In Our Beautiful, Dry, and Distant Texts (1986), James Elkins suggests that "ft]he unobjectionable universality of close reading is most apparent in our inability to think what kind of artifact. . .might not be best understood by close examination." But while the rhetorical efficacy of methodological transparency might seem self-evident in certain contexts, within literary studies the coeval growth of close reading and the modernist canon under the name of the New Criticism meant that close reading as a method came to be considered by some as less than transparent, and more than incidentally (high) modernist. At the same time, close reading could be celebrated by Paul de Man, in The Resistance to Theory (1986), as a critical tool: "Close reading. . .cannot fail to respond to structures of language which it is the more or less secret aim of literary teaching to keep hidden." Proposed by the pedagogical wing of modernism's reception as pragmatic and clarifying, close reading finds itself dismissed as ideological, only to return for deconstructionists like de Man as the solvent of ideology. Where are we now? Two superb recent studies in contemporary poetry and poetics, by Benjamin Friedlander and Peter Middleton, begin to suggest an answer. The core ofMiddleton's book is its pair ofchapters devoted to the poetry reading as cultural form and its problematic "distance"— its...


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