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A poet walks into a bar... In Lyric as Comedy, Calista McRae explores the unexpected comic opportunities in recent American poems about deeply personal, often embarrassing, experiences. Lyric poems, she finds, can be surprising sites of a shifting, unruly comedy, as seen in the work of John Berryman, Robert Lowell, A. R. Ammons, Terrance Hayes, Morgan Parker, Natalie Shapero, and Monica Youn.

Lyric as Comedy draws out the ways in which key American poets have struggled with persistent expectations about what expressive poetry can and should do. McRae reveals how the modern lyric, rather than bestowing order on the poet's thoughts and emotions, can center on impropriety and confusion, formal breakage and linguistic unruliness, and self-observation and self-staging.

The close readings in Lyric as Comedy also provide new insight into the theory and aesthetics of comedy, taking in the indirect, glancing comic affordances of poetry. In doing so, McRae captures varieties of humor that do not align with traditional terms, centering abjection and pleasure as facets of contemporary lyric practice.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Permissions
  2. pp. ix-xiv
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  1. Introduction: Consider What That Feels Like
  2. pp. 1-24
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  1. 1. Comedy in an Age of Close Reading: John Berryman's Dream Songs
  2. pp. 25-51
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  1. 2. Robert Lowell: The Noise of One's Own Voice
  2. pp. 52-81
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  1. 3. A. R. Ammons: Comic Badness
  2. pp. 82-114
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  1. 4. Terrance Hayes: Floundering Interiors
  2. pp. 115-145
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  1. 5. Coming to Terms with Our Self: Morgan Parker, Natalie Shapero, Monica Youn
  2. pp. 146-178
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 179-208
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 209-218
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781501750991
Related ISBN
9781501750977
MARC Record
OCLC
1137210359
Pages
234
Launched on MUSE
2020-09-14
Language
English
Open Access
No
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