Poetry and the Sense of Panic

Poetry and the Sense of Panic : Critical Essays on Elizabeth Bishop and John Ashbery

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For all the disciplined artifice of Elizabeth Bishop and John Ashbery, the essays in this collection show that panic plays a crucial role in their work, giving substance to Bishop's claim that "an element of mortal panic and fear" underlines all art. Panic emerges as a condition of creative anxiety and the self-imposed demands of originality in response to the poetic traditions Bishop and Ashbery inherited. These concerns are explored in essays addressed to Bishop and Ashbery's engagement with European Surrealism as an alternative to the dominant poetics of Modernism and its aftermath in the middle years of the twentieth century. Other essays debate the philosophical, religious, and political orientation of their work in relation to Romantic orthodoxies and Postmodern ironies in terms of cultural history, ideology and poetic practice. This collection provides original commentaries on the work of two poets widely regarded as amongst the most significant American poets of the second half of the twentieth century with essays by notable scholars from the United States and Britain known for their special interests in modern poetry including Joanne Feit Diehl, Mark Ford, Edward Larissy, Peter Nicholls, Peter Robinson, Thomas Travisano, Cheryl Walker and Geoff Ward.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 149.86 x 215.9 x 15.24mm | 317.51g
  • Editions Rodopi B.V.
  • Leiden, Netherlands
  • English
  • 9042007206
  • 9789042007208
  • 2,241,189

Table of contents

Lionel KELLY: Introduction: Poetry and the Sense of Panic. Mark FORD: Mont d'Espoir or Mount Despair: Early Bishop, Early Ashbery, and the French. Joanne FEIT DIEHL: Aggression and Reparation: Bishop and the Matter-Of-Fact. Benjamin COLBERT: Romantic Entanglements: Ashbery and the Fragment. Helen M. DENNIS: "Questions of Travel": Elizabeth Bishop and the Negative Sublime. Dennis BROWN: John Ashbery's "A Wave" (1983): Time and Western Man. Edward LARRISSY: "Is Anything Central?": Ashbery and the Idea of a Centre. Thomas TRAVISANO: Elizabeth Bishop and the Origins of Narrative Postmodernism. Krystyna MAZUR: The "Unfamiliar Stereotype": Repetition in the Poetry of John Ashbery. John PILLING: The "Hybrid Mix" of Ashbery's Three Poems, or, How Not to Be French. Peter ROBINSON: "The Bliss of What?" Cheryl WALKER: Metaphysical Surrealism in Bishop. Peter NICHOLLS: John Ashbery and Language Poetry. Geoff WARD: Before and After Language: The New American Poetry. Notes on Contributors. Index.
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Review quote

"...high quality of the individual contributions." in: MLR, 97,4,2002 pp.949-950
"...excellent criticism ..." in: Years Work in English Studies, Vol. 81, No. 16, 2002
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