Redefining the Boundaries of Contemporary Poetics, in Theory & Practice, for the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Louis Armand
ISBN 0-8101-2359-2 (paperback). 384pp.
Published: June 2007
Publisher: Northwestern University Press, Evanston.

Price: USD 29.95 (not including postage)

Exploring the boundaries of one of the most contested fields of literary study--a field that in fact shares territory with philology, aesthetics, cultural theory, philosophy, and even cybernetics--this volume gathers a body of critical writings that, taken together, broadly delineate a possible poetics of the contemporary. In these essays, the most interesting and distinguished theorists in the field renegotiate the contours of what might constitute "contemporary poetics," ranging from the historical advent of concrete poetry to the current technopoetics of cyberspace. Concerned with a poetics that extends beyond our own time, as a mere marker of present-day literary activity, their work addresses the limits of a writing "practice"--beginning with Stephane Mallarme in the late nineteenth century--that engages concretely with what it means to be contemporary.

Charles Bernstein's Swiftian satire of generative poetics and the textual apparatus, together with Marjorie Perloff's critical-historical treatment of "writing after" Bernstein and other proponents of language poetry, provides an itinerary of contemporary poetics in terms of both theory and practice. The other essays consider "precursors," recognizable figures within the histories or prehistories of contemporary poetics, from Kafka and Joyce to Wallace Stevens and Kathy Acker; "conjunctions," in which more strictly theoretical and poetical texts enact a concerted engagement with rhetoric, prosody, and the vicissitudes of "intelligibility"; "cursors," which points to the open possibilities of invention, from Augusto de Campos's "concrete poetics" to the "codework" of Alan Sondheim; and "transpositions," defining the limits of poetic invention by way of technology.

"An epoch-defining collection of manifestos and essays: its list of contributors reads as a who's who of current important theorists in the field."--Michael Golston

"Puts a number of excellent essays back in print and makes several others easily available for the first time."--Craig Dworkin


Charles Bernstein
How Empty is my Bread Pudding?
Marjorie Perloff
After Language Poetry: Modernity & its Discontents

Kevin Nolan
Getting Past Odradek
Donald F Theall
The Avant-Garde & the Wake of Radical Modernism
Bob Perelman
Doctor Williams's Position, Updated
Simon Critchley
Wallace Stevens and the Infinite Evasion of As
DJ Huppatz
Corporeal Poetics: Kathy Acker's Writing
Michel Delville & Andrew Norris
Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and the Secret History of Maximalism

Ricardo Nirenberg
Metaphor: The Colour of Being
Keston Sutherland
DJ Huppatz, Nicole Tomlinson & Julian Savage
Bruce Andrews
Readings Notes
Bruce Andrews
Lost and Found

Augusto de Campos
Concrete Poetry: A Manifesto
Augusto de Campos
Questionnaire of the Yale Symposium
Darren Tofts
Epigrams, Particle Theory and Hypertext
Gregory L Ulmer
Image Heuretics
J. Hillis Miller
The Poetics of Cyberspace: Two Ways to Get a Life
McKenzie Wark
From Hypertext to Codework
Alan Sondheim

Louis Armand
Techno-Poetics in the Vortext
Steve McCaffery
Parapoetics and the Architectural Leap
Allen Fisher
Traps or Tools and Damage
Steve McCaffery
Discontinued Meditations
Marjorie Perloff
Screening the Page / Paging the Screen: Digital Poetics and the Differential Text

Louis Armand is director of the InterCultural Studies programme in the Philosophy Faculty of Charles University, Prague. His books include Solicitations: Essays on Criticism & Culture; Techne: James Joyce, Hypertext & Technology; and Incendiary Devices: Discourses of the Other.

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