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Poetry at Stake:
Lyric Aesthetics and the Challenge of Technology
Carrie Noland

Paperback | 1999 | $52.50 | £44.95 | ISBN: 9780691004174
280 pp. | 6 x 9 | 12 halftones
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Taking seriously Guillaume Apollinaire's wager that twentieth-century poets would one day "mechanize" poetry as modern industry has mechanized the world, Carrie Noland explores poetic attempts to redefine the relationship between subjective expression and mechanical reproduction, high art and the world of things. Noland builds upon close readings to construct a tradition of diverse lyricists--from Arthur Rimbaud, Blaise Cendrars, and René Char to contemporary performance artists Laurie Anderson and Patti Smith--allied in their concern with the nature of subjectivity in an age of mechanical reproduction.


"Examining theoreticians . . . and adding an ingenious interpretive analyses of her own, Noland illustrates the extent to which and how the character of various poets, performers, and even a dress designer's productions mediate a dialectic between artist and public."--Choice

"Carrie Noland provides a powerful view of the dynamic connection between lyric poetry and technology. . . . It is invigorating to read such a well documented and providential analysis."--Susan F. Crampton, French Review

"Excellent in its informative reading of each artist in question, the chapters are independent, richly documented studies of the creative self and its embrace of a particular technology or commercial development."--Maria L. Assad, Nineteenth-Century French Studies


"By breaking down the ideological barrier segregating art objects from commodities, Noland's book will foster reconceptualization of the relationship between 'high' art and more popular forms of cultural expression and activity. It will help to decompose a current conservative critical doctrine, that the objects 'cultural studies' examines are somehow intrinsically inferior, subliterary, whereas only 'traditional' literary criticism deals appropriately with first-rank works."--Richard Terdiman, University of California, Santa Cruz

"Every chapter in this book is at once richly informative from a cultural and historical point of view and the purveyor of close textual readings that are as convincing as they are exciting. The book's trajectory is marked by meticulous research, acute readings of texts, and cogent argument."--Mary Lydon, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Table of Contents:

Acknowledgments ix
Abbreviations xi
Introduction 3
One Traffic in the Unknown: Rimbaud's Interpretive Communities, Market Competition, and the Poetics of Voyance 16
Two A Poetry of Attractions: Rimbaud's Machine and the Theatrical Feerie 37
Three Confessing Philosophy: Negative Dialectics and/as Lyric Poetry 60
Four Blaise Cendrars and the Heterogeneous Discourses of the Lyric Subject 89
Five High Decoration: Sonia Delaunay, Blaise Cendrars, and the Poem as Fashion Design 114
Six Messages personnels: Radio, Cryptography, and the Resistance Poetry of Rene Char 141
Seven Rimbaud and Patti Smith: The Discoveries of Modern Poetry and the Popular Music Industry 163
Eight Laurie Anderson: Confessions of a Cyborg 185
Coda 213
Notes 219
General Index 255
Index of Principal Primary Sources Cited 263

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