Poetry on & off the page essays for emergent occasions

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The early Cantos seem to have an animated quality, as Pound paints his hell denizens as grotesque caricatures. The index is exterior, and is perhaps necessary only for the poet.

Poetry On and Off the Page: Essays for Emergent Occasions

As Pound was publishing The Cantos he had experimented with different media and different styles of representation. Strater illustrated the margin to suggest pre-mass-produced print Materer The artwork recreates the poem as an art object—a commodity, in and of itself. This situation would lead the project towards failure. The illustration for Canto 16 is especially important in translating the pastiche of the Blakean imagery within the lyric or aural text , replicating the image text in a kind of double helix structure see figure 3.

The writing makes no sense in the picture; it is not the title; instead it is a citation to a work of art that is already a citation. Like the cartoon world of Betty Boop, one form is exchanged by another while maintaining certain rhythms, certain intensities, while abandoning story. Also the numeric coordination of the hell scenes seems to trump any thematic content in the alignment. There is a polyphonous encounter with obvious and subtle intertextual figures to construct the carnivalistic grotesqueries of English finance, politics, and print capital.

In the illustration, opposite the gate, there is a wee naked Blake figure running up the screw. Pound creates a text where his experimentation with extra-diegetic elements of the poem replaces a monologic lyric with a kind of Bakhtinian polyphony where:. The Draft of XVI Cantos forms a vortex of an intertextual canto that mimics a painting mimicking a canto.

The Blake image then functions as not only a site for reproduction, but for the exchange of codes. The vortex creates a different relationship to history than a linear narrative because the memory of DNA is not the hallucinatory re-membering of presence; it is immanent in the genetic code—a magical code and unconscious memory producing a Poundian.

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Though, on one hand, Pound rages against the rhetorical flourishes of late-Victorian and Edwardian poets, clearing out a space of difference for his own poetry, on the other hand he invokes the cult value of the poet, engaged in poetic production. This cult value of the poem results largely from changing his system of signs. There are also large sections of the Adams and China cantos that include dates, margin notes, quotations, which are often accompanied by an authoritative if not authoritarian narrator who tries to cram together competing moments of history and historical figures.

The Poet Essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson

In Achilles Fang offered to revise and correct the errors in the China Cantos to which Pound replied:. Pound dramatizes the fact that the knowledge of China constructed by Orientalists has no real coherence and is actually a tower of Babel, full of misinterpretations, misrecognition of signs, inaccuracies, which in its terrible incompleteness teaches lessons, exemplifies the pitfalls of history, and is fraught with aesthetic possibilities. Maybe Pound was already showing a tendency towards the delusion of a totalizing system based on the provisional need for self-destruction. Albright, Daniel.

Alighieri, Dante.

The Divine Comedy. Ault, Donald. Bakhtin, Mikhail. Translated by R. USA: Ardis, Berkeley, George. Nice Abstractions and Geometrical Metaphysics. Edited by David R. Bertram, Vicki. Edited by A. Roberts and J. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, Blake, William. Blake's Dante.

Feb 22, Chow, Rey. Cookson, William. New York: Persea Books, Derrida, Jaques. Of Grammatology. Translated by Gayatri Chakravory Spivak. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, Deleuze, Gilles. Cinema 1: The Movement Image.


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Minneapolis: Minnesota UP, Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Dimock, Wai Chee. Dobbs, Betty Jo Teeter. New York: Cambridge University Press, Durant, Alan. Ezra Pound: Identity in Crisis. New Jersey: Barnes and Noble Books, Flory, Wendy. Frazer, James George, Sir. The golden bough: a study in magic and religion. Abridged ed. New York: The Macmillan Co.

COM, Glendening, John. Keene, Donald. Dawn to the West. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Materer, Timothy. Modernist Alchemy: Poetry and the Occult. Ithaca: Cornell UP, Nadel, Ira B. The Cambridge Companion to Ezra Pound. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, Perloff, Marjorie.

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Poetry on and off the Page: Essays for Emergent Occasions. Evanston, Ill. Pound, Ezra. San Francisco: City Lights Books, A Memoir of Gaudier-Brzeska. New York: New Directions, Pound: Poems and Translations. Rainey, Lawerence. New Haven: Yale UP, Simic, Charles. Taylor, Richard.

by Marjorie Perloff

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All images are used with permission or are permissible under fair use. Please see our legal notice. Figure 1. Cab Calloway as a ghostly walrus in "Minnie the Moocher. Figure 2. A universe of imagination and intensities in "Minnie the Moocher. Figure 3. Figure 4. William Blake, "Charon and the Condemned Souls". Figure 5. The text in the illustration reads "Hell Canto 3. To give you the best possible experience this site uses cookies.

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Using this site means you agree to our use of cookies. View cookies policy. Literary Studies: From C - Zoom Zoom. Availability Usually despatched within 2 weeks. With Free Saver Delivery. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Share. Description These essays share as their theme the reconsideration of the role of historical and cultural change in the evolution of 20th-century poetry and poetics. Perloff first looks at broad theoretical concerns - the evolution and contradictions of the term ""postmodernism""; the vexed relation of modernism to the primitivism ostensible inherent in it; the large-scale transformation of free verse; and the reception of poetry and poetics in the contemporary press and its cyberspace future.