Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary

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University of Chicago Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 285 pages
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Marjorie Perloff, among our foremost critics of twentieth-century poetry, argues that Ludwig Wittgenstein provided writers with a radical new aesthetic, a key to recognizing the inescapable strangeness of ordinary language. Taking seriously Wittgenstein's remark that "philosophy ought really to be written only as a form of poetry," Perloff begins by discussing Wittgenstein the "poet." What we learn is that the poetics of everyday life is anything but banal.

"This book has the lucidity and the intelligence we have come to expect from Marjorie Perloff.—Linda Munk, American Literature

"[Perloff] has brilliantly adapted Wittgenstein's conception of meaning and use to an analysis of contemporary language poetry."—Linda Voris, Boston Review

"Wittgenstein's Ladder offers significant insights into the current state of poetry, literature, and literary study. Perloff emphasizes the vitality of reading and thinking about poetry, and the absolute necessity of pushing against the boundaries that define and limit our worlds."—David Clippinger, Chicago Review

"Majorie Perloff has done more to illuminate our understanding of twentieth century poetic language than perhaps any other critic. . . . Entertaining, witty, and above all highly original."—Willard Bohn, Sub-Stance
 

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Wittgenstein's ladder: poetic language and the strangeness of the ordinary

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Wittgenstein's writings, though not themselves poetry, are redolent of poetic elements. Still, perhaps only a poet--or a humanities professor such as Perloff (Radical Artifice: Writing Poetry in the ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Russell Wittgenstein and
25
The Art of the Philosophical
51
Wittgenstein Gertrude Stein
83
bile 1915
97
F T Marinetti from Zang Tumb Tuuum 1914
102
Luigi Russolo Carlo Carra F T Marinetti Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini in Paris 1912
104
The Language of Resistance The Resistance
115
Paul Engelmann design for the Palais Stonborough phase
225
Ludwig Wittgenstein Kundmanngasse Photograph by Moritz Nahr
226
Ludwig Wittgenstein Kundmanngasse south perspective present situation Photograph by Marghareta Krischanitz
227
Fortlaan
230
Fortlaan 1992
231
Fortlaan
232
Fortlaan 1992
233
Koepoortkaai
236

The Wittgenstein Fictions of Thomas
145
Wittgensteinian Poetics
181
Bobbie Creeley Untitled photograph
193
Bobbie Creeley Untitled photograph
194
coda
221
Koepoortfoai 1992
237
Veldstraat
240
Notes
243
Index
275
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Marjorie Perloff is professor of English emerita at Stanford University and the Florence R. Scott Professor of English Emerita at the University of Southern California. She is the author of many books, including, most recently, Poetics in a New Key and Unoriginal Genius , also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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