Very short poems you like

Benny B

Well-known member
Tbh I would never have guessed who it was either cos I haven't read much of her stuff, plus it reads like it's from the 17th century or something, which is obviously deliberate. It's from 1959, but its hard to identify anything modernist about it, is it a pastiche? I don't really know, but I like it anyway.
 

woops

is not like other people
well, i still find it reads like a translation. those ellipses are not very english. nors that silkworm/size line break. perhaps thats the modernist touch? its not unlike some of HDs classically inspired stuff in theme and construction
 

Benny B

Well-known member
The ellipses and a comma together,...
and the line break yeah, I suppose they're the modernist touches, you're probably right. I like how they slow it down and make it all ponderous and wondrous before you get to the last line, which is a bit OTT but charming and I think it works.

H.D. is a good call (read Sea Garden recently and I love it), also Pound - I got the poem from that Confucius to Cummings anthology he compiled. I do have a soft spot for modernist retro stuff, 'make it new' and all that.
 

woops

is not like other people
H.D. is a good call (read Sea Garden recently and I love it), also Pound - I got the poem from that Confucius to Cummings anthology he compiled. I do have a soft spot for modernist retro stuff, 'make it new' and all that.
well you can look at it as high modernism re asserting the epic grand narratives before all the postmodernist stuff
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Was thinking with the punctuation, it appears 'eccentric' in a sort of Emily Dickinson or William Blake sort of way, but it surely comes from a more knowing, studied, self aware, ironic position by that point (1959) therefore tipping it more into the postmodern category rather than modernist. (or is that what you'd call 'high' modernist?)
 

woops

is not like other people
well you can look at it as high modernism re asserting the epic grand narratives before all the postmodernist stuff
followed as day follows night, by someone cleverer than me pointing out that the "end of grand narratives" constitutes yet another GN - most or all post modern innovations are present in modernism - "post" modernism is a phase of modernism itself,
 

woops

is not like other people
Was thinking with the punctuation, it appears 'eccentric' in a sort of Emily Dickinson or William Blake sort of way, but it surely comes from a more knowing, studied, self aware, ironic position by that point (1959) therefore tipping it more into the postmodern category rather than modernist. (or is that what you'd call 'high' modernist?)
i dunno youre probably right. im using the "high" thing to differentiate your early 20th types from the morass of the modern stan @Clinamenic was on about the other day
 

Benny B

Well-known member
I think I have a much better grasp on it now than I did before,but I'll probably never fully get my head around the difference between modernist and postmodern, high- or late- or otherwise. Personally, when something gets labelled postmodern it tends to put me off it, even though loads of things I enjoy do fit the bill.

What was Stan saying?
 

woops

is not like other people
o god
But yeah we have traces of modern culture strewn about history, likely centuries if not millennia before modernism proper. I tend of think of modernism proper gaining steam with Luther, the printing press, Galileo, becoming philosophically canonized by the likes of Descartes, etc.

And then over the following centuries, this kind of thinking became normalized, IE lost its novelty as contradistinguished against Catholic cosmological dogma. This normalization of secular values and epistemologies resets the stage for post-modern culture to gain momentum, although again there are still cases to be made for early instances of postmodern thought, IE artists and thinkers who personally "passed through" these phases philosophically, following some sublime avant-garde instinct, afforded by the ability to distance oneself from what is normalized around them, and contextualize it all within a larger development, in order to probe beyond it.
to which i immediately offered the riposte
id differentiate between modernity and modernism
and he posted loads more times here i was just trying to differentiate between stan's definition and what is normally called modernism literary modernism woolf pound stein eliot etc you know what im talking about, the term "high" modernism is not my own but might be suitable
 

woops

is not like other people
the whole thing makes you're head spin after abit, for example one of the earliest examples of the novel, [if not the first,] Don Quixote apparently goes well meta and reflexive in volume 2, where the don is famous in his own fictional world after everyone in the (quotes obligatory) "real" world has read volume 1, idk ive only read a bit of it pretty funny
 

woops

is not like other people
which is to say that one of the quintessential postmodern devices was present at the birth of the novel
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Proper minefield, very confusing.


which is to say that one of the quintessential postmodern devices was present at the birth of the novel
Read Hamlet for first time the other day funnily enough, I suppose the play within a play thing is another example
 

Benny B

Well-known member
This is why Bloom rated Don Qixote and Hamlet so highly isn't it, that that they had gone meta and already invented all these postmodern devices centuries before postmodernism *spits* was even a thing.
 
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william_kent

Well-known member
Proper minefield, very confusing.



Read Hamlet for first time the other day funnily enough, I suppose the play within a play thing is another example

The Taming of the Shrew also has a play within a play ( a drunkard is pranked by a nobleman into believing he is a nobleman, who then has a play performed for his pleasure )

to be honest I've been watching too many Shakespeare authorship controversy videos recently, makes the 9/11 crew seem sane by comparison
 
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william_kent

Well-known member
through the mists of time I can recall vague memories of an Eng Lit degree where I was informed by the lecturer or tutor, whatever, that Laurence Sterne's Tristam Shandy was the first "postmodern" novel ( 1760 ish? too drunk to recall correctly )

make of that what you will
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
In the history of the novel the realism/naturalism of the 19th century is perhaps more of an aberration than the playful, self-referential, ludic stuff.
 

jenks

thread death
through the mists of time I can recall vague memories of an Eng Lit degree where I was informed by the lecturer or tutor, whatever, that Laurence Sterne's Tristam Shandy was the first "postmodern" novel ( 1760 ish? too drunk to recall correctly )

make of that what you will
Early novels were all often quite playful - stopping to talk to the reader, drawing attention to its own artifice. It’s something that remains well into the 19th C. I was reading a Trollope the other day that used many of these ideas - realism rises in the 19thC and for some it is what defines the novel - most novels read these days aspire for some kind of realism - maybe not the self conscious ironising ones we prefer over here but for most people read novels that are’true to life’ whether it be William Boyd, Ian McEwan, JoJo Moyes or Miriam Keyes.
The Intellectuals and The Masses sets out an argument that literary fiction and popular fiction diverged in the twenties. Virginia Woolf hideously snobbish about one of my favourites Arnold Bennett for example. Elliot was believed to have said that poetry should be difficult. And Ulysses is not for everyone but for anybody. High Modernism is a break from the past and that fissure has widened - Prynne is certainly an acquired taste, even something as beautiful yet experimental like Lincoln on the Bardo is for a small audience and you’d have to put a gun to my head to make me read most of what inhabits the top ten best sellers. So in simple terms post modernism is just what happens after modernism. But if anything defines what it is then it’s a drawing attention to the form and that art is not going to offer simple solutions, closure or moral comfort (all things the early modern novel offered) - instead it draws attention to the messiness and complexity of human existence (last bit is a bit cliched but I run out of steam a bit)
 
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