Download American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens by Mark Noble PDF

By Mark Noble

In American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens, Mark Noble examines writers who percentage the belief that personhood will be understood as a fabric occasion. via new readings of Whitman, Emerson, Santayana, and Stevens, Noble uncovers a literary historical past wrestling with the results of its personal materialism, and asks what this account of shared materiality can let us know in regards to the so much profoundly secular versions of the fashionable topic. At a second whilst a number of new versions of the connection among human adventure and its actual floor movement between serious theorists and philosophers of technological know-how, American Poetic Materialism explores poets who've lengthy requested what our materiality can let us know approximately our customers for brand new types of our fabric selves.

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Additional info for American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)

Example text

I propose, for instance, that adventures in materialist poetics address both the exigency and the inevitability of the discursive strategies that would characterize such a difficulty. The writers discussed in this volume stage encounters with this paradoxical center of materialist thinking. They suggest, in various ways, the need for an approach that would tolerate and investigate ineluctable contradictions without presuming to resolve or reduce them. Such an approach promises neither a reliable methodology nor access to an unmediated ground.

Rather, we should develop materialist accounts of our experience that retain the dialectical character of that relation. 6 Thinking the subject in material terms, in other words, necessarily means thinking the material as paradoxically constitutive of and constituted by the activity of thought. The challenge lies with embracing and investigating this paradox rather than presuming to arrest it. Adorno articulates this in formulaic ways: “Mediation of the object means that it must not be statically, dogmatically hypostatized but can be known only as it entwines with subjectivity; mediation of the subject means that without the moment of objectivity it would be literally nil” (ND, 186).

2 His account of a philosophical psyche remains interesting, however, less for its classification of the events of the Western philosophical canon than for its accumulation of distinct yet analogous sets of terms for a problem said to underlie that canon. The opposition between idealism and materialism not only correlates to the abstract language for generality and particularity, but also adopts this subjective language for the tension between intimacy and alterity. The tenets of any idealism, for instance, are said to derive from an intuitive longing for the sensation of what James calls “the sufficiency of the present moment” (64).

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