Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing
Often considered America's greatest twentieth-century poet, Wallace Stevens is without a doubt the Anglo-modernist poet whose work has been most scrutinized from a philosophical perspective. Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing both synthesizes and extends the critical understanding of Stevens's poetry in this respect. Arguing that a concern with the establishment and transgression of limits goes to the heart of this poet's work, Bart Eeckhout traces both the limits of Stevens's poetry and the limits of writing as they are explored by that poetry. Stevens's work has been interpreted so variously and contradictorily that critics must first address the question of limits to the poetry's signifying potential before they can attempt to deepen our appreciation of it. In the first half of this book, the limits of appropriating and contextualizing Stevens's "The Snow Man," in particular, are investigated. Eeckhout does not undertake this reading with the negative purpose of disputing earlier interpretations but with the more positive intention of identifying the intrinsic qualities of the poetry that have been responsible for the remarkable amount of critical attention it has received.
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abstraction aesthetic afﬁrm argues Bevis conﬂict context deconstruction deﬁned deﬁnition Derrida difﬁcult Eleanor Cook Eliot Emerson epistemological essay experience Experimental Language fact feeling ﬁction ﬁeld ﬁgure Filreis ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁrst idea Frank Kermode Frank Lentricchia Harold Bloom Helen Vendler Hillis Miller human Idea of Order imagination inﬂuence interpretation intertextual Jacques Derrida James Longenbach Key West Lentricchia limits lines Longenbach lyric Maeder Magniﬁco meaning meditative Mind of Winter modern modernist Motive for Metaphor Nietzsche Nietzsche’s Northrop Frye object ofthe one’s pears perception philosophical Piet Mondriaan Plain Sense poem’s poet poet’s poetic Poirier possible question reader reality reﬂections rhetorical Richard Poirier romantic Sense of Things signiﬁcation Snow sound speciﬁc stanza Stevens criticism Stevens’s poem Stevens’s poetry sublime sufﬁciently Supreme Fiction T. S. Eliot textual theory thought tion voice Wallace Stevens William William Carlos Williams Word-Play Word-War words writing