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Limits of Poetic Reference: A Reading of J.H. Prynne’s Pearls That Were and Sub Songs

January 3 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

J. H. Prynne’s poetry brings into the text that which exists at the limits of linguistic representation. The non-linguistic domain of meaning—characterized by Wittgenstein as the unutterable that clings to the referential function of words—is often figured in poetry through arbitrary word-play (Veronica Forrest-Thomson’s verse) or defiantly approached through a surrender of textual meaning (Charles Bernstein’s experimentations). In my paper, I argue that Prynne’s mid to late-career poetry collections recover the excess of linguistic meaning through an ironic engagement with music and through a questioning of the poetic assumption of voices and the nature of impaired utterances. Discipline/Coordinating Entity: Humanities and Social Sciences


January 3
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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