In this volume, three divergent criticsrepresenting Romanticism, contemporary poetry, and more formal concerns, such as prosody and rhythmpresent analyses of five contemporary poets viewed in relationship to several different strains of Romantic practice or theory.
Charles Altieri reflects on Wordsworth, Arnold, Williams and the contemporary poetry of Lyn Hejinian and Leslie Scalapino. Robert Kaufman discusses the problematics and uses of Romantic difficulty from Kant through Benjamin, Adorno and the Frankfurt School, to the work of Barbara Guest and Michael Palmer. Finally, Ellen Stauder explores how Mark Doty, through his use of description and affect, construes and reconstructs the poetry of Keats. All three essays make creative conjectures as to what Romanticism looks like to actively producing poets right now, as well as what constitutes the most compelling contemporary poetic practices.
Romantic poetry, these essays show, has in one way or another set the agenda for contemporary poetics, bequeathing multiple, and somewhat conflicting, legacies to twentieth-(and twenty-first-)century poetry. These essays show that the often disharmonious conversation in which they are engaged is Romanticismís chief legacy to contemporary poetics.
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All the images used with the Obi volume derive from the Sylvester Harrison/Edward Orme engraving depicting Maria DeCamp and Charles Kemble in the Obi pantomime production of the cave scene. The Harrison/Orme engraving is used courtesy of the Harvard Theater Collection.
The Romantic Circles Praxis Series is devoted to using computer technologies for the contemporary critical investigation of the languages, cultures, histories, and theories of Romanticism. Tracking the circulation of Romanticism within these interrelated domains of knowledge, RCPS recognizes as its conceptual terrain a world where Romanticism has, on the one hand, dissolved as a period and an idea into a plurality of discourses and, on the other, retained a vigorous, recognizable hold on the intellectual and theoretical discussions of today. RCPS is committed to mapping out this terrain with the best and mo st exciting critical writing of contemporary Romanticist scholarship. The Romantic Circles Praxis Series was formerly known as Romantic Praxis: Theory and Criticism. The name was changed in November 1999.
Lisa M. Steinman is Kenan Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and is the author of Masters of Repetition: Poetry, Culture, and Work in Thomson, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Emerson (St. Martin's, 1998), Made In America: Science, Technology, and American Modernist Poets (Yale, 1987), and five volumes of poetry, most recently Carslaw's Sequences (University of Tampa Press, 2003). She has also published numerous poems and articles about nineteenth through twenty-first English and American poetry.
Robert Kaufman is Assistant Professor of English and Affiliated Assistant Professor of German Studies at Stanford University, where his teaching and research are concentrated in the fields of Romanticism, Modernist and Postmodernist poetry and poetics, aesthetics, and critical theory. He is presently completing two related studies, Negative Romanticism, Almost Modernity: Keats, Shelley, and Adornian Critical Aesthetics and Experiments in Construction: Frankfurt School Aesthetics and Contemporary Poetry. His essays have appeared in various journals and collections, including Critical Inquiry, October, American Poetry Review, The Cambridge Companion to Adorno, Das Brecht-Jahrbuch/The Brecht Yearbook, Modern Language Quarterly, Studies in Romanticism, and European Romantic Review.
Ellen Keck Stauder is Professor of English and Humanities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She has published on Pater, Pound and Loy and is currently completing a book project: Form Cut Into Time: The Poetics of Rhythm in Ezra Pound's Poetry.