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American Literature Readings in the 21st Century

Negative Theology and Utopian Thought in Contemporary American Poetry

Determined Negations

Authors: Lagapa, Jason

  • Takes together negative theology, American literature, and utopian studies.
  • Highlights a new direction in scholarship on experimental poetry. 
  • Examines the poetry of Susan Howe, Nathaniel Mackey, Charles Bernstein, and other important poets. 
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Buy this book

eBook 44,02 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-55284-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 58,84 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-55283-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover 58,84 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-85617-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book explores the utopian imagination in contemporary American poetry and the ways in which experimental poets formulate a utopian poetics by adopting the rhetorical principles of negative theology, which proposes using negative statements as a means of attesting to the superior, unrepresentable being of God.  With individual chapters on works by such poets as Susan Howe, Nathaniel Mackey, Charles Bernstein, and Alice Notley, this book illustrates how a strategy of negation similarly proves optimal for depicting the subject of utopia in literary works. 

Negative Theology and Utopian Thought in Contemporary American Poetry:  Determined Negations contends that negative statements in experimental poetry illustrate the potential for utopian social change, not by portraying an ideal world itself but by revealing the very challenge of representing utopia directly.

About the authors

Jason Lagapa is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas – Permian Basin, where he teaches courses in twentieth-century and twenty-first-century American poetry and creative writing.  He has published articles in Contemporary Literature and Journal of Modern Literature and contributed to The Salt Companion to Charles Bernstein.

Reviews

“In Negative Theology and Utopian Thought in Contemporary American Poetry, Jason Lagapa takes the next step in illuminating the Utopian function at work in contemporary American poetry. Steeped in the Marxist tradition of such critics as Ernst Bloch and Fredric Jameson, Lagapa carefully analyzes the work of four crucial poets—Susan Howe, Nathaniel Mackey, Charles Bernstein, and Alice Notley—in order to demonstrate how these poets’ innovative strategies mobilize the anticipatory force that Bloch names the ‘not yet.’ Lagapa makes convincing use of the tradition of negative theology, a tradition predicated on rhetorical premises that are surprisingly appropriate to both Utopian thinking and poetic experimentation. At a time when such thinking is at a premium, Lagapa reminds us that our poetry remains an abundant storehouse of visionary tropes.”  - Norman Finkelstein,  Professor of English, Jewish Studies, Xavier University, USA

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Lagapa, Jason

    Pages 1-14

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,69 €
  • Our Message Was Electric: Susan Howe and the Resuscitation of Failed Utopian Projects

    Lagapa, Jason

    Pages 15-39

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,69 €
  • And Be Whole Again: Antiphony, Deprivation, and the “Not-Yet” Place of Utopia in Nathaniel Mackey’s Splay Anthem

    Lagapa, Jason

    Pages 41-65

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,69 €
  • Leave Us the World: Apophasis, Dissent and the Pluralist Politics of Charles Bernstein’s Poetry

    Lagapa, Jason

    Pages 67-90

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,69 €
  • Pages to Come: Utopian Longing and the Merging of the Detective Story with the Artist’s Novel in Alice Notley’s Disobedience

    Lagapa, Jason

    Pages 91-116

    Preview Buy Chapter 29,69 €

Buy this book

eBook 44,02 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-55284-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 58,84 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-55283-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover 58,84 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-85617-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Negative Theology and Utopian Thought in Contemporary American Poetry
Book Subtitle
Determined Negations
Authors
Series Title
American Literature Readings in the 21st Century
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-55284-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-55284-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-55283-5
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-85617-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 135
Topics