EN218 Lecture Notes - San Francisco Renaissance, Romantic Poetry, New Criticism

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19 Mar 2013
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January 9th, 2012
EN218
Lecture 2
Modernism
- Elliot and Pound
- Active critics and publishers
Modernist Poetry
- Disciplined, crafted, complex, objective, rhetorical, formal, esoteric
- Sense that the world is lacking in order and is devoid of sanity (20th century
life)
- Alienated and alienating not living in the same way that grandparents, etc.
lived
o Cut off from traditional ways of living and divorced from a historical
way of life, thus alienated from past
- Poetry was a way to restore sanity, a rational alternative
- Microcosm for sanity…provides a little piece of sanity
- Written in a way to overcome the sense of isolation…Elliot and Pound
appealed to old ways of writing
o Art belonged to an older tradition and it was available for us to use in
the modern world
o Writing about modern experience, but using organized forms to prove
that tradition is still alive and you are connected to your past, and you
are connected to your past through art
- Crafting order out of chaos, and this project is heroic if you are an artist
(especially or Ezra Pound)
- By the 1930s, writers realized that art cannot restore order to the world (e.g.,
cannot stop the stock market from crashing)
New Criticism
- Becomes mainstream in universities and poetry circles
- “The idea of raw, unaffected, or spontaneous poetry misleads the readers as
to what is expected of him. It encourages laziness and passivity…it is not
enough to let a poem echo through your being, to play mystical chords upon
your soul. The poem must be understood and felt in its details; it asks for
attention before transport” Robert Pack
- Rigid, artificial, unnecessarily complicated, distanced, ostentatious,
restricted, obscure
o Feeling like you have to throw in a complicated mess
o Needing to know multiple languages to understand the poem
o Art was becoming an object of study, but not an object that is relevant
to your own life
- Call for revitalization of art
o New York
The Beats
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