Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing

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University of Missouri Press, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 303 pages
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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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Contents

Reading Stevens
13
It Must Resist the Intelligence Almost Successfully
23
It Must Be Served like Sukiyaki
35
It Must Be Intertextualized
44
It Must Be Made of Snow A Case Study
56
Triangulating Pleasure Doubt and Irritation
116
The Limits of Perception Thought and Language
133
Infuriating Philosophers
135
Between Matter and Mind
157
Between the Senses of Sense
184
Between Mimesis and Music
204
Between Metaphor and X
231
Poeticizing Epistemology
262
Works Cited
271
Index
295
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Modernism: An Anthology
Lawrence Rainey
No preview available - 2005
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