Catalogue


"Fallen from the symboled world" [electronic resource] : precedents for the new formalism /
Wyatt Prunty.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1990.
description
326 p.
ISBN
0195057864 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1990.
isbn
0195057864 (Cloth)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Title from e-book title screen (viewed October 16, 2007).
catalogue key
7372119
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 301-308) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1990-11:
Prunty, author of three books of poetry, here offers his analytical voice to the rising chorus proclaiming the ascendency of the "New Formalism." At the same time, he finds this term misleading since the use of prescribed forms has been continuous. This fairly recondite study of contemporary US poetry owes as much to philosophical texts and linguistics as to the old formalists, the "New Critics." Most valuable about his steady, if somewhat dogmatic, analysis is the attention given to poets generally slighted in books about US poetry since WW II. Instead of Ginsberg and the Beats, Ashbery, O'Hara, Berryman, and Plath, we have--after a fine chapter on Robert Lowell--a chapter called "Howard Nemerov: Mimicry and Other Tropes" and another chapter, "Patterns of Similitude in the Poetry of Justice, Hecht, Van Duyn, Bishop, Wilbur, Hollander, Pack, and Pinsky." There is also a healthy attack on the poetry of Creeley and Ammons ("Emaciated Poetry and the Imaginative Diet"). Throughout, Prunty's analysis concentrates less on meter and prosody than on the way his chosen poets employ rhetorical figures. The trope that receives the most attention is the simile. He is interested in how such tropes add up as contributions to knowledge. He focuses as well on the connections between the poets and their modernist forebears, finding more similarities than differences--the main difference being "the replacement of symbol and allegory with simile-like tropes." Recommended, particularly to graduate students and faculty, for its considerable thought, extensive learning, and attention to poets too long underrated or not yet recognized. -B. Wallenstein, City College, CUNY
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Most valuable...is [Prunty's] reading of several poems by Mona Van Duyn, a poet often overlooked in discussions of poetry by American women."--Sewanee Review
"Most valuable...is [Prunty's] reading of several poems by Mona Van Duyn,a poet often overlooked in discussions of poetry by American women."--SewaneeReview
"Prunty's "Fallen From the Symboled World" is an excellent first book of literary criticism by a highly talented young poet-critic. Prunty writes from a very definite "formalist" viewpoint but this is always subordinated to the overriding question of figuration in the poems he discusses, andhis assessment of contemporary American poetry is both stringent and refreshing. There won't be any mixed reactions to this book--you'll either love it or you'll hate it. People who like formal poetry will love it. And since that's the kind of poetry I like, I recommend it."--John T. Irwin, TheJohns Hopkins University
"Prunty's "Fallen From the Symboled World" is an excellent first book ofliterary criticism by a highly talented young poet-critic. Prunty writes from avery definite "formalist" viewpoint but this is always subordinated to theoverriding question of figuration in the poems he discusses, and his assessmentof contemporary American poetry is both stringent and refreshing. There won'tbe any mixed reactions to this book--you'll either love it or you'll hate it.People who like formal poetry will love it. And since that's the kind of poetryI like, I recommend it."--John T. Irwin, The Johns Hopkins University
"Recommended, particularly to graduate students and faculty, for its considerable thought, extensive learning, and attention to poets too long underrated or not yet recognized."--Choice
"Recommended, particularly to graduate students and faculty, for itsconsiderable thought, extensive learning, and attention to poets too longunderrated or not yet recognized."--Choice
"Remarkable....Prunty's ultimate purpose is to define the basic difference between the poetry of the first half of this century and that of the second. It seems to me that he has achieved much greater success in this enterprise than has any other critic, and that he has in his interpretationsof individual poems and poets restored the balance from an excessive concern with meter alone to a full appreciation of all aspects."--Hudson Review
"Remarkable....Prunty's ultimate purpose is to define the basic differencebetween the poetry of the first half of this century and that of the second. Itseems to me that he has achieved much greater success in this enterprise thanhas any other critic, and that he has in his interpretations of individual poemsand poets restored the balance from an excessive concern with meter alone to afull appreciation of all aspects."--Hudson Review
"Remarkable....Prunty's ultimate purpose is to define the basic difference between the poetry of the first half of this century and that of the second. It seems to me that he has achieved much greater success in this enterprise than has any other critic, and that he has in his interpretations of individual poems and poets restored the balance from an excessive concern with meter alone to a full appreciation of all aspects."--Hudson Review "Recommended, particularly to graduate students and faculty, for its considerable thought, extensive learning, and attention to poets too long underrated or not yet recognized."--Choice "Most valuable...is [Prunty's] reading of several poems by Mona Van Duyn, a poet often overlooked in discussions of poetry by American women."--Sewanee Review "Prunty's "Fallen From the Symboled World" is an excellent first book of literary criticism by a highly talented young poet-critic. Prunty writes from a very definite "formalist" viewpoint but this is always subordinated to the overriding question of figuration in the poems he discusses, and his assessment of contemporary American poetry is both stringent and refreshing. There won't be any mixed reactions to this book--you'll either love it or you'll hate it. People who like formal poetry will love it. And since that's the kind of poetry I like, I recommend it."--John T. Irwin, The Johns Hopkins University
"Remarkable....Prunty's ultimate purpose is to define the basic difference between the poetry of the first half of this century and that of the second. It seems to me that he has achieved much greater success in this enterprise than has any other critic, and that he has in his interpretations of individual poems and poets restored the balance from an excessive concern with meter alone to a full appreciation of all aspects."-- Hudson Review "Recommended, particularly to graduate students and faculty, for its considerable thought, extensive learning, and attention to poets too long underrated or not yet recognized."-- Choice "Most valuable...is [Prunty's] reading of several poems by Mona Van Duyn, a poet often overlooked in discussions of poetry by American women."-- Sewanee Review "Prunty's "Fallen From the Symboled World" is an excellent first book of literary criticism by a highly talented young poet-critic. Prunty writes from a very definite "formalist" viewpoint but this is always subordinated to the overriding question of figuration in the poems he discusses, and his assessment of contemporary American poetry is both stringent and refreshing. There won't be any mixed reactions to this book--you'll either love it or you'll hate it. People who like formal poetry will love it. And since that's the kind of poetry I like, I recommend it."--John T. Irwin, The Johns Hopkins University
"Remarkable....Prunty's ultimate purpose is to define the basic difference between the poetry of the first half of this century and that of the second. It seems to me that he has achieved much greater success in this enterprise than has any other critic, and that he has in his interpretations of individual poems and poets restored the balance from an excessive concern with meter alone to a full appreciation of all aspects."--Hudson Review "Recommended, particularly to graduate students and faculty, for its considerable thought, extensive learning, and attention to poets too long underrated or not yet recognized."--Choice "Most valuable...is [Prunty's] reading of several poems by Mona Van Duyn, a poet often overlooked in discussions of poetry by American women."--Sewanee Review "Prunty's"Fallen From the Symboled World"is an excellent first book of literary criticism by a highly talented young poet-critic. Prunty writes from a very definite "formalist" viewpoint but this is always subordinated to the overriding question of figuration in the poems he discusses, and his assessment of contemporary American poetry is both stringent and refreshing. There won't be any mixed reactions to this book--you'll either love it or you'll hate it. People who like formal poetry will love it. And since that's the kind of poetry I like, I recommend it."--John T. Irwin,The JohnsHopkins University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1990
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Prunty's book is a reading of contemporary American poets using the phenomenological approaches of Heidegger and Husserl. His argument, begun with the reading of the work of Robert Lowell, is that contemporary poets, unlike their modernist predecessors, have adopted a sceptical stance and expressed that stance through the use of literary tropes that liken (simile) rather than tropes that equate (symbol and allegory). Prunty provides close readings of the works of such poets asAmmons, Nemerov, Justice, Cunningham, Creeley, and others.
Long Description
This study evaluates figure and form in contemporary poetry, especially the powers of simile and simile-like structures. Examining the works of Nemerov, Wilbur, Bowers, Hecht, Justice, Cunningham, Bishop, Van Duyn, Hollander, Pack, Kennedy, Ammons, Creeley, and Wright, Prunty argues that doubts about language, the tradition, and theistic assumptions embedded in the tradition have made simile and various simile-like arrangements into major modes of thought. From Lowell's early interest in the "similitudo" and the "phantasm" of Gilson, to Husserl's "phantasies" and Heidegger's interest in similitude, to the use made by contemporary poets of simile, he shows that metaphor--together with slippage, mimicry, synaphea, conjunctions, anacoluthon, chiasmus, and other simile-like patternings--have proven to be more trustworthy than symbol and allegory. Throughout the study, Prunty demonstrates that as uncertainty about language has changed from a predicament of mind to a new way of thinking, simile and simile-like occurrences have provided poetry with variational thought and constitutive power.
Main Description
This study evaluates figure and form in contemporary poetry, especially the powers of simile and simile-like structures. Examining the works of Nemerov, Wilbur, Bowers, Hecht, Justice, Cunningham, Bishop, Van Duyn, Hollander, Pack, Kennedy, Ammons, Creeley, and Wright, Prunty argues thatdoubts about language, the tradition, and theistic assumptions embedded in the tradition have made simile and various simile-like arrangements into major modes of thought. From Lowell's early interest in the "similitudo" and the "phantasm" of Gilson, to Husserl's "phantasies" and Heidegger'sinterest in similitude, to the use made by contemporary poets of simile, he shows that metaphor--together with slippage, mimicry, synaphea, conjunctions, anacoluthon, chiasmus, and other simile-like patternings--have proven to be more trustworthy than symbol and allegory. Throughout the study,Prunty demonstrates that as uncertainty about language has changed from a predicament of mind to a new way of thinking, simile and simile-like occurrences have provided poetry with variational thought and constitutive power.
Unpaid Annotation
A provocative and original analysis of figure and from in contemporary poetry, Fallen From the Symboled World will make an important contribution to the study of modern poetry and literature as well as to linguistics and literary criticism and analysis.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 3
Symbol, Allegory, Causality, and the Phenomenal Fluxp. 23
Emaciated Poetry and the Imaginative Dietp. 57
Poems That Speak, Poems That Singp. 89
Howard Nemerov: Mimicry and Other Tropesp. 143
Patterns of Similitude in the Poetry of Justice, Hecht, Van Duyn, Bishop, Wilbur, Hollander, Pack, and Pinskyp. 193
Conclusionp. 293
Notesp. 301
Indexp. 311
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem