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Lyric Shame: The "Lyric" Subject of Contemporary American Poetry: The “Lyric” Subject of Contemporary American Poetry

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Bringing a provocative perspective to the poetry wars that have divided practitioners and critics for decades, Gillian White argues that the sharp disagreements surrounding contemporary poetics have been shaped by lyric shame an unspoken but pervasive embarrassment over what poetry is, should be, and fails to be. Favored particularly by modern American poets, lyric poetry has long been considered an expression of the writer s innermost thoughts and feelings. But by the 1970s the lyric I had become persona non grata" in literary circles. Poets and critics accused one another of identifying with lyric, which increasingly bore the stigma of egotism and political backwardness. In close readings of Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Sexton, Bernadette Mayer, James Tate, and others, White examines the social and critical dynamics by which certain poems become identified as lyric, arguing that the term refers less to a specific literary genre than to an abstract way of projecting subjectivity onto poems. Arguments about whether lyric poetry is deserving of praise or censure circle around what White calls the missing lyric object: an idealized poem that is nowhere and yet everywhere, and which is the product of reading practices that both the advocates and detractors of lyric impose on poems. Drawing on current trends in both affect and lyric theory, Lyric Shame" unsettles the assumptions that inform much contemporary poetry criticism and explains why the emotional, confessional expressivity attributed to American lyric has become so controversial."

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Review:

Important, insightful and very much of our time, White s book will get noticed immediately, as it should and it should certainly affect current debates about lyric and poetry and the contemporary. Smart about several kinds of poetry, White is especially brilliant on Bernadette Mayer, whose major works "Midwinter Day "and "The Desire of Mothers" deserve a lot more attention than they get. This volume takes its place in a line of books about poetry at a particular juncture, about how aesthetic effects come from, and speak to, intellectual history, to institutions and to social life: there s a lot we can learn from it. --Stephen Burt, coauthor of "The Art of the Sonnet""

About the Author:

Gillian White is Associate Professor of English at the University of Michigan.

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Book Description Hardback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 4 working days. Gillian White argues that the poetry wars among critics and practitioners are shaped by "lyric shame"--an unspoken but pervasive embarrassment over what poetry is, should be, and fails to be. "Lyric" is less a specific genre than a way to project subjectivity onto poems--an idealized poem that is nowhere and yet everywhere. Seller Inventory # B9780674734395

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Book Description Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Bringing a provocative perspective to the poetry wars that have divided practitioners and critics for decades, Gillian White argues that the sharp disagreements surrounding contemporary poetics have been shaped by "lyric shame"-an unspoken but pervasive embarrassment over what poetry is, should be, and fails to be.Favored particularly by modern American poets, lyric poetry has long been considered an expression of the writer's innermost thoughts and feelings. But by the 1970s the "lyric I" had become persona non grata in literary circles. Poets and critics accused one another of "identifying" with lyric, which increasingly bore the stigma of egotism and political backwardness. In close readings of Elizabeth Bishop, Anne Sexton, Bernadette Mayer, James Tate, and others, White examines the social and critical dynamics by which certain poems become identified as "lyric," arguing that the term refers less to a specific literary genre than to an abstract way of projecting subjectivity onto poems. Arguments about whether lyric poetry is deserving of praise or censure circle around what White calls "the missing lyric object": an idealized poem that is nowhere and yet everywhere, and which is the product of reading practices that both the advocates and detractors of lyric impose on poems. Drawing on current trends in both affect and lyric theory, Lyric Shame unsettles the assumptions that inform much contemporary poetry criticism and explains why the emotional, confessional expressivity attributed to American lyric has become so controversial. Seller Inventory # APC9780674734395

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