Inscription and Modernity: From Wordsworth to Mandelstam

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9780253347497: Inscription and Modernity: From Wordsworth to Mandelstam
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Inscription and Modernity charts the vicissitudes of inscriptive poetry produced in the midst of the great and catastrophic political, social, and intellectual upheavals of the late 18th to mid 20th centuries. Drawing on the ideas of Geoffrey Hartman, Perry Anderson, Fredric Jameson, and Jacques Rancière among others, John MacKay shows how a wide range of Romantic and post-Romantic poets (including Wordsworth, Clare, Shelley, Hölderlin, Lamartine, Baudelaire, Blok, Khlebnikov, Mandelstam, and Rolf Dieter Brinkmann) employ the generic resources of inscription both to justify their writing and to attract a readership, during a complex historical phase when the rationale for poetry and the identity of audiences were matters of intense yet productive doubt.

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John MacKay is Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University.

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. . . MacKay's readings elucidate poems from roughly 1750 to 1945 and encompass major Western writers ranging from Wordsworth to Elizabeth Bishop. Sensitive that 'the poem should sing its own understanding, without the help of ventriloquists,' MacKay portrays the critic's task as gesturing toward the performance of the poem within a community. This poetic sampling notably exposes poems from lesser-known Russians such as Nikolai Kliuev and Velimir Khlebnikov, along with French worker-poet Charles Poncy. . . . MacKay helps the reader see the writings of early-20th-century Russian poets in a larger framework―that of the relationship between poetry and community. . . . Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and scholars. (Choice)

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