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9780810117891

Prior to Meaning: The Protosemantic and Poetics (Avant-Garde & Modernism Studies)

Prior to Meaning: The Protosemantic and Poetics (Avant-Garde & Modernism Studies)
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  • ISBN-13: 9780810117891
  • ISBN: 0810117894
  • Edition: 1
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press

AUTHOR

Steve McCaffery

SUMMARY

This volume collects a decade of writing on poetry, language, and the theory of writing by a major figure in contemporary poetry -- one of the most innovative and conceptually challenging poets of the last twenty-five years. In essays that are wide ranging, richly detailed, and complex in their surprising juxtapositions of disparate material, Steve McCaffery works to undo the current bifurcation between theory and practice -- to show how a poetic text might be the source rather than the product of the theoretical principles against which it must be read.McCaffery approaches the poetic work as an occasion for philosophical reflection and discovery, reading works as diverse as Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra, Charles Olson's Maximus Poems, the Marquis de Sade's fiction, Samuel Johnson's Dictionary via Wittgenstein, and Jackson Mac Low's aleatory poetry to show how language actually behaves rather than how it is designed to function. Exploring a range of writing from seventeenth-century England to the avant-garde contemporary poetics of writers such as Robin Blaser and Karen MacCormack, these essays trace intersections along a broad conceptual plane that McCaffery terms the "protosemantic", demonstrating how a reader must examine the interstices of each text, its paragrammatic possibilities, its Deleuzean folds.Steve McCaffery is the author of 'Prior to Meaning: The Protosemantic and Poetics (Avant-Garde & Modernism Studies)', published 2001 under ISBN 9780810117891 and ISBN 0810117894.

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