By Stephen Fredman

This Concise better half offers readers a wealthy experience of the way the poetry produced within the usa through the 20th century is attached to the country’s highbrow existence.

Written through trendy experts within the box, the amount is helping readers to understand the poetry by way of situating it inside overlapping old and cultural contexts, together with: warfare; feminism and the feminine poet; ''queer cities''; the effect of the recent York paintings international; African-American poetry and blues; poetries of immigration and migration; communism and anti-communism; and philosophy and conception. every one bankruptcy levels around the whole century, evaluating poets from one a part of the century to these of one other; and every one balances documentary assurance of context with sharp remark upon particular poems.

The spouse kinds a fantastic creation to twentieth-century American poetry for college kids, whereas its new syntheses will make it of curiosity to students besides.

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War as a particular historical event recedes, even as the language in which its aims are articulated figures increasingly as an all-enclosing linguistic environment whose limits poetry must ceaselessly define. So in recent American poetry, Bernstein argues, we find a countervailing emphasis on “particularity, the detail rather than the overview, form understood as eccentric rather than systematic, process more than system, or if system then system that undermines any hegemonic role for itself” (p.

Increasingly, US military operations have been given not the random names they had previously received, but names associating hyperbolic cosmic force with absolute rightness: Urgent Fury (Grenada), Just Cause (Panama), Desert Storm (the Gulf), Instant Thunder (the air operation in the Gulf), Infinite Justice (Afghanistan), and Enduring Freedom (the war on terror) (Sieminski 1995). These are, we might say, pseudo-performatives which cultivate the apocalyptic tone to conflate means and ends. There is something at once risible and deadly in the use of such language.

Her way of then projecting this as a parallel distinction between conventional literary realism and modernist “strangeness” might strike us initially as perverse. The point, though, is that Stein sees war by writing about it, which is very different from seeing war and then writing about it. It is not so much the local perceptions of wartime experience that matter – though these are acutely registered – but the way in which Stein’s language challenges at a minutely local level the logical machinations of war-speak.

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