Being Numerous: Poetry and the Ground of Social Life (20/21) by Oren Izenberg

By Oren Izenberg

"Because i'm really not silent," George Oppen wrote, "the poems are bad." What does it suggest for the goodness of an artwork to depend on its disappearance? In Being a variety of, Oren Izenberg bargains a brand new option to comprehend the divisions that set up twentieth-century poetry. He argues that an important clash isn't among kinds or aesthetic politics, yet among poets who search to maintain or produce the incommensurable particularity of expertise through making strong items, and poets whose radical dedication to summary personhood turns out altogether incompatible with experience--and with poems.

Reading around the obvious gulf that separates conventional and avant-garde poets, Izenberg unearths the typical philosophical urgency that lies in the back of different kinds of poetic difficulty--from Yeats's esoteric symbolism and Oppen's minimalism and silence to O'Hara's cheerful slightness and the Language poets' rejection of conventional aesthetic satisfactions. For those poets, what starts off as a pragmatic query concerning the behavior of literary life--what distinguishes a poet or workforce of poets?--ends up as an ontological inquiry approximately social existence: what's somebody and the way is a group attainable? within the face of the violence and dislocation of the 20th century, those poets face up to their will to mastery, draw back from the sensual richness in their most powerful paintings, and undermine the particularity in their imaginitive and ethical visions--all as a way to permit personhood itself to come to be an indisputable fact making an unrefusable declare.

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"Because i'm really not silent," George Oppen wrote, "the poems are undesirable. " What does it suggest for the goodness of an artwork to rely on its disappearance? In Being a number of, Oren Izenberg bargains a brand new option to comprehend the divisions that arrange twentieth-century poetry. He argues that crucial clash isn't really among kinds or aesthetic politics, yet among poets who search to maintain or produce the incommensurable particularity of expertise via making robust gadgets, and poets whose radical dedication to summary personhood turns out altogether incompatible with experience--and with poems.

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The character before us may be, say, manly; but it is not appropriate in a female character to be manly, or clever. The third is to make them like the reality, which is not the same as their being good and appropriate, in our sense of the term. The fourth is to make them consistent and the same throughout.

One must not confuse it with character. e. the sort of thing they seek or avoid, where that is not obvious. Hence there is no room for character in a speech on a purely indifferent subject. Thought, 38 Aristotle on the other hand, is shown in all they say when proving or disproving some particular point, or enunciating some universal proposition. e. as before explained, the expression of their thoughts in words, which is practically the same thing with verse as with prose. As for the two remaining parts, the melody is the greatest of the pleasurable accessories of tragedy.

It is this, as much as anything else, that distinguishes even the Plutus from the later domestic comedy of Greece and Rome. And these political concepts are sound; by skilfully throwing things out of proportion Aristophanes reveals their true proportions. The Birds is his comic Utopia, the State as a whole. In the Frogs he anticipates a problem of the Platonic Utopia, the function of 34 Lane Cooper the poet in the State; this problem he displays in an action that travesties an entire Dionysiac festival.

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