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Modernism and Poetic Inspiration

Modernism and Poetic Inspiration by Jed Rasula
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A major provocation to modern poetics is the inspirational bounty of destruction (effacement, negation, undoing) bequeathed by Mallarmé. Modernist poets and artists explored this initiative through strategic explorations in the materiality of the medium, as well as dislocations of sensibility. Informing these maneuvers is the most ancient legacy of the muses, the supposition of a guiding voice, a shadow mouth. This legacy nourishes a fantasy of inspiration as privileged access to the murmur of pre-signifying meaning, a speech without words, a picture without images, or images that are so deep as to defy scrutiny. The sites of inspiration documented in Modernism and Poetic Inspiration range from nineteenth century linguistic theory to postmodern strategies of conceptual writing, encompassing well known instances of modernist poetics (Mallarmé, Pound, Olson) alongside obscure but revealing figures like Otto Nebel and Henri-Martin Barzun.

Palgrave Macmillan; June 2009
268 pages; ISBN 9780230622197
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Title: Modernism and Poetic Inspiration
Author: Jed Rasula