"M. F. Simone Roberts's A Poetics of Being-Two is animated by a lively and engaging voice, drawing readers in with a sense of serious purpose working (delightfully) in tandem with a sense of humor. Roberts's aesthetics and her close readings of Yves Bonnefoy, St-John Perse, and Jorie Graham clearly demonstrate the literary effectiveness of Irigarayan sexual difference as an analytic trope, even as they emphasize the philosophical and political possibilities sexual difference opens up for feminism, environmentalism, and all levels of (...) contemporary cultural critique and activism."—Gail M. Schwab, Hofstra University -/- In An Ethics of Sexual Difference, Irigaray calls for a new poetics in the sense of both art and life. Rather than a critique from within philosophy, A Poetics of Being-Two tests Irigaray's ethics by extending it to other sites of cultural production. Where Irigaray's method finds stirrings and repressions of sexual difference in philosophy, this project explores that tension in poetics. Building from Irigaray's ethics, the book describes a poetics of being-two as concerns gendered subjectivity in literary poetics and then traces the on-going emergence of a poetics of being-two in the post-symbolist poetic tradition. Irigaray scholars will be interested in the sustained interpolation of Irigaray's ethical concepts as principles for a critical aesthetics and in their hermeneutic application in reading a literary tradition. Readers in comparative literature will find the first sustained feminist engagements with the major French poets Bonnefoy and Perse and an elucidation of their influence on the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Jorie Graham. (shrink)
The writing of Iris Murdoch has long been of interest to both literature enthusiasts and students of philosophy. The years Murdoch spent studying philosophy at Oxford and Cambridge left an indelible imprint on her work. The essays in this book address both Murdoch’s philosophy and writing in the context of Continental philosophy and postmodern fiction. Many of the twelve essays resist the prevailing critical orthodoxies, introducing instead new theories with which to approach one of Britain’s most revered authors.
The philosophy suggested by Jan Zwicky's expanded understanding of lyric and use of the fragment-as-method inspired this notebook of misunderstanding. Seeking to read Zwicky in the tradition of the aleatory genre and its basic form, the fragment, Roberts finds that her own sense of poetics and ethics accords generally with Zwicky's lyric philosophy and epistemology of imagination. Roberts's resonance with Zwicky's theory is conflicted by Zwicky's choice to isolate her fragment-method from the larger history of the aleatory genre and its (...) complex political evolution. Misunderstandings are compounded by Zwicky's disengagement from her contemporaries in the aleatory genre, the instability of her definitions by way of gestalt, and the impossible scale of her “ontological imperative.” In the end, Roberts is disappointed by this tempting but failed affinity. (shrink)