(2.1) Experimental Language Poetry
Situation in 1970s
- 1950s-60s: Academic poets writing formally precise shorter lyrics stop being mainstream
(a) domination of the ‘workshop lyric’, easy-to-write free verse poetry in the confessional mode, based on autobiographical experience with a generalizing epiphanic moment, judged according to the criterion of the sincerity of the voice
(b) appearance of formerly taboo radical feminist poetry
(c) new emergence of poetry of ethnic minorities
< Modernist poets: Gertrude Stein, e.e.cummings
< older generation avant-garde poets: John Cage, Charles Olson, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch
< European literary theory, postmodernism, poststructuralism
< European language philosophy of Wittgenstein, Barthese, Derrida, etc.
- promoted by specialized avant-garde magazines for small coterie audiences
> This (1971): founded by the poets Robert Grenier and Barrett Watten as an alternative to mainstream poetry
> L=a=n=g=u=a=g=e (1978-82): founded by the poets and editors Charles Bernstein and Bruce Andrews to open a dialogue on the relationship of literature and politics
> ‘I Hate Speech’ (1971): an influential essay by Robert Grenier
- against the dominant mainstream poetry in free verse and confessional mode
- language philosophy of nonsense and fragmentation
- word play, language play, deranged language, random word list, challenged meaning
- the end is the word play itself, the point is that there is no point identifiable
- intellectually challenging, playful in philosophical outlook, not easily accessible
(1) 1970s: experiments with individual letters and words
(2) 1980s: experiments with larger forms
> The L=a=n=g=u=a=g=e Book (1984): an anthology edited by Charles Bernstein and Bruce Andrews, collects the best poetry and essays from the earlier eponymous magazine
> In the American Tree (1986): an anthology edited by Ron Silliman
(3) 1990s: emergence of women language poets
Charles Bernstein (b. 1950)
- poet, critic, editor
- influential in making the language poetry popular
> ‘Thinking I Think I Think’
Lyn Hejinian (b. 1941)
- poet, essayist, prose writer
- argues for formally open experimental poetry without the necessity of a clear ending
> My Life (1980, 1987, 2002): an autobiographical amalgam of prose, poetry, and memoir
Michael Palmer (b. 1943)
> ‘Dearest Reader’
Ron Silliman (b. 1946)
Bruce Andrews (b. 1948)
Barrett Watten (b. 1948)
PředmětNorth American Poetry 1945 - 2002.
SemestrLetní semestr 2008/09.
StatusVolitelný seminář pro III. blok.
Flajšar, Jiří. Dějiny americké poezie. Ústí nad Orlicí: Oftis, 2006.
Jařab, Josef. American Poetry and Poets of Four Centuries. Praha: SPN, 1989.
Jařab, Josef, ed. Dítě na skleníku. Praha: Odeon, 1989.