Future-Founding Poetry

Future-Founding Poetry

Topographies of Beginnings from Whitman to the Twenty-First Century

Sascha Pöhlmann

Hardback
$99.00

Camden House

Overview

Overview

An investigation of how American poetry since Whitman makes its beginnings, with what means and to which political and aesthetic ends, and how it addresses fundamental questions about what the future is and how it may be affected now.

Although issues of futurity have become more and more central to literary and cultural studies in recent years, especially in environmental criticism, no scholarly work has yet addressed the topic of beginnings in American poetry in sufficient scope or detail or with adequate theoretical background. This book is a study of how beginnings are made in American poetry, and to what ends. It borrows Walt Whitman's term "future-founding" to establish a theory of poetic beginnings that asks how poetry relates to notions of the future and how it imagines, constructs, and influences this future in the present. Furthermore, it seeks to change the way literary scholars think about futurity with regard to American poetry: they most often conceive of it in terms of newness alone, yet a deeper theorization of beginnings must open up new ways of understanding the complexities of this relation. With chapters on Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes, Muriel Rukeyser, Allen Ginsberg, and future-founding poetry after 9/11, this book explains how American poetry makes its beginnings, with what means and to which political and aesthetic ends, and how it addresses fundamental questions about what the future is and how it may be affected now.

Sascha Pöhlmann is Associate Professor of American Literary History at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich.

Details

December 2015
424 pages
9x6 in
European Studies in North American Literature and Culture
ISBN: 9781571139511
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BIC DSC, 1KBB, 2AB, 3JH
BISAC LIT004020, LIT014000
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Table of Contents

Introduction: On How to Begin, and Where
Whitman: Beginning American Poetry
Williams: Beginning Again
Hughes: Urgent Beginnings
Rukeyser: Communal Beginnings
Ginsberg: Defiant Beginnings
Future-Founding Poetry after 9/11
Conclusion: On Where to End
Works Cited
Notes
Index

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