Critical Rhythm

Critical Rhythm : The Poetics of a Literary Life Form

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Rhythm constitutes an untapped resource for understanding poetry, making legible a range of ways poetry affects us that cannot be parsed through the traditional resources of poetic theory.

Rhythm has rich but also problematic roots in nineteenth-century notions of primitive, oral, communal, and sometimes racialized poetics. But there are reasons to understand and even embrace its seductions, including its resistance to lyrical voice and even identity. Pressing beyond poetry handbooks' isolated descriptions of technique, the book asks what it means to think rhythm.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 22.35mm | 612.35g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 082328204X
  • 9780823282043

Table of contents


Ben Glaser, 1

Rhythm's Critiques

Why Rhythm?

Jonathan Culler, 21

What Is Called Rhythm?

David Nowell Smith, 40

Sordello's Pristine Pulpiness

Simon Jarvis, 60

Body, Throng, Race

The Cadence of Consent: Francis Barton Gummere, Lyric Rhythm, and White Poetics

Virginia Jackson, 87

Contagious Rhythm: Verse as a Technique of the Body

Haun Saussy, 106

Constructing Walt Whitman: Literary History and Histories of Rhythm

Erin Kappeler, 128

Beat and Count

The Rhythms of the English Dolnik

Derek Attridge, 153

How to Find Rhythm on a Piece of Paper

Thomas Cable, 174

Picturing Rhythm

Meredith Martin, 197

Fictions of Rhythm

Beyond Meaning: Differing Fates of Some Modernist Poets' Investments of Belief in Sounds

Natalie Gerber, 223

Sapphic Stanzas: How Can We Read the Rhythm?

Yopie Prins 247

Rhythm and Affect in "Christabel"

Ewan Jones, 274

Acknowledgments 297

List of Contributors 299

Index 303
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Review quote

"What does it mean, and what has it meant historically, to participate in verse's rhythmic patternings? This volume, with incandescent and defamiliarizing rhythms of its own, takes up rhythm as the central, ever-fugitive term in debates over sound and sense, the visible and the audible, the history of prosodic discourses, and methodological approaches to reading and performance. Reaching beyond the metrical constraints of foot prosody to powers of rhythm generally left underexplored in Anglo-American criticism, the formidable array of scholars gathered here opens up resonant inquiries into empirical, historical, ontological, phenomenological, and allegorical dimensions of rhythm in English-language verse of the past two centuries." -- Max Cavitch, University of Pennsylvania
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About Derek Attridge

Ben Glaser (Edited By)

Ben Glaser is Assistant Professor of English at Yale University.

Jonathan Culler (Edited By)

Jonathan Culler is Class of 1916 Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cornell University and the author of numerous books on literary theory, including Structuralist Poetics, On Deconstruction, and Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. His most recent book is Theory of the Lyric (Harvard, 2015).
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