Download E-books American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture) PDF

By Mark Noble

In American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens, Mark Noble examines writers who percentage the idea that personhood should be understood as a fabric occasion. via new readings of Whitman, Emerson, Santayana, and Stevens, Noble uncovers a literary background wrestling with the results of its personal materialism, and asks what this account of shared materiality can let us know concerning the so much profoundly secular types of the trendy topic. At a second whilst a number of new types of the connection among human event and its actual flooring movement between serious theorists and philosophers of science, American Poetic Materialism explores poets who've lengthy requested what our materiality can let us know approximately our clients for brand spanking new versions of our fabric selves.

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23 At stake within the presumption of a cloth continuity among minds and electrons, in different phrases, one unearths not anything below an opportunity to resume the classy and moral promise of modernity within the first 1/2 the 20th century. it truly is tough to grasp simply how a lot of this idealism pressured Stevens. His quotation of Whitehead’s “everything is in all places normally” suggestion within the 1951 lecture does recommend an affinity for greater than simply the elements of classical box idea. Stevens without doubt understood the importance of the foundations that underlie Whitehead’s improvement of “process” philosophy – specifically the statement that apprehending fluid barriers among brain and international capability discovering that the “realities of nature are the prehensions in nature” (SMW, 106). If “reality isn't really [an] exterior scene however the lifestyles that's lived in it,” Stevens indicates in “The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words,” then “[t]he subject-matter of poetry isn't that ‘collection of stable, static items prolonged in space,’ however the lifestyles that's lived within the scene that it composes” (CPP, 658). 24 And it kind of feels most probably that Stevens will be attracted to Whitehead’s recommendation that price derives from touch among the “brooding presence of the complete” and the lives of its numerous parts – such a lot particularly that half we name the brain. Stevens’s poetry files a chronic attempt to specify the phrases of this contact – as within the try and seize the rock as determine for “the habitation of the whole,” or the articulation of what “Notes towards a superb Fiction” calls “things / that during one another are incorporated, the entire / The complicate, the accumulating concord” (348). in lots of of a similar poems, although, Stevens’s figurative encounters with the fabric global (like his a number of notes towards a figurative “whole”) additionally list a primary alterity of the physical – or an irreducible hole among goal truth and subjective adventure. i've got urged, for example, that Stevens’s past due picture of the rock frequently turns out to sign either a fabric plenum (“The start line of the human”) and a determine for the vacuity or impermanence of our apprehensions that concerns the vocational activity of overlaying over a fabric void (“As if nothingness contained Matter on the finish of the Mind a hundred sixty five a métier”). In those latter cases, an analogous fabric global that for Whitehead harmonizes human adventure seems to be irremediably alien  – it finds, that's, what Stevens calls “nothingness [as] a nakedness, some extent / past which suggestion couldn't development as idea” (348). For Stevens, the fluid obstacles among topic and item are famous no longer in order that they may be collapsed yet in order that they may be reconstituted for you to make certain our self-preservation, and poetry hence includes the technique of generating what “The Noble Rider” calls “a violence from inside that protects us from a violence from with out” (665). the place Whitehead presumes acquiescence to the “brooding” entire that permeates topic and item alike, in different phrases, Stevens usually advocates a poetic perform that responds to this implicit violence of the cloth via sponsoring “the mind's eye urgent again opposed to the strain of fact” (665).

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