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The Public World/Syntactically Impermanence
Contributor(s): Scalapino, Leslie

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ISBN: 081956379X     ISBN-13: 9780819563798
Publisher: Wesleyan Univ Pr
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: July 1999
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Annotation: The Public World/Syntactically Impermanence is a brilliant consideration of the strategies of poetry, and the similarities between early Zen thought and some American avant-garde writings that counter the "language of determinateness", or conventions of perception. The theme of the essays is poetic language which critiques itself, recognizing its own conceptual formations of private and social, the form or syntax of the language being "syntactically impermanence".
Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Poetry | American
Dewey: 811/.54
LCCN: 99018712
Academic/Grade Level: Scholarly/Undergraduate
Book type: Non-Fiction
Physical Information: 9.25" H x 6.00" W x 0.50" (0.60 lbs) 152 pages
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
The Public World / Syntactically Impermanence is a brilliant consideration of the strategies of poetry, and the similarities between early Zen thought and some American avant-garde writings that counter the "language of determinateness," or conventions of perception. The theme of the essays is poetic language which critiques itself, recognizing its own conceptual formations of private and social, the form or syntax of the language being "syntactically impermanence."
Whether writing reflexively on her own poetry or looking closely at the writing of her peers, Leslie Scalapino makes us aware of the split between commentary (discourse and interpretation) and interior experience. The "poetry" in the collection is both commentary and interior experience at once. She argues that poetry is perhaps most deeply political when it is an expression that is not recognized or readily comprehensible as discourse.

Contributor Bio(s): LESLIE SCALAPINO is author of numerous books of poetry, essays, ad plays, as well as the novel Defoe (Sun and Moon,1994). Among her books of poetry are way (1988), that they were at the beach-aeolotropic series (1985) and Considering how exaggerated music is (1982), all published with North Point Press. Wesleyan has published her most recent books: New Time (1999) and The Front Matter, Dead Souls (1996).

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 1999 June #4)
Long one of the most influential of the "left coast" language poets, Scalapino (New Time, Forecasts, Apr. 26) adds to her already considerable oeuvre with this, her third book of essays and hybrid poem-plays. While the book is divided into two sections with eight "essays" in the first and three longer "works" in the second this distinction is rendered highly permeable by Sccalapino's resolutely non-normative, or non-academic at least, prose style. An intricate weave of cross-references from text to text heightens the interconnectedness of the book, and allows the nomadic and dedicated reader to describe a sort of productive rebus throughout the book. The book is also surprisingly engaging, as Scalapino discusses the early foundations of Zen (Nagarjuna's Seventy Stanzas) and the works of some of her peers, particularly Philip Whalen, Susan Howe and Robert Creeley. In their "demonstration of no-procedure" ("Deer Night" is a "total rewriting" of The Tempest and King Lear), the essays indirectly suggest a comparison between the temporal indeterminacy of many Zen texts and Gertrude Stein's notion (from William James) of the "continuous present," and aim to resist easy cultural absorption. Agrammatical title and all, this is critical writing as restless as it is beautiful, in which poetry is boldly proclaimed as constituting "society's secret interior." (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
 
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