American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens by Mark Noble

By Mark Noble

In American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens, Mark Noble examines writers who proportion the idea that personhood may be understood as a fabric occasion. via new readings of Whitman, Emerson, Santayana, and Stevens, Noble uncovers a literary historical past wrestling with the implications of its personal materialism, and asks what this account of shared materiality can let us know in regards to the such a lot profoundly secular types of the trendy topic. At a second while numerous new types of the connection among human adventure and its actual floor stream between severe theorists and philosophers of technological know-how, American Poetic Materialism explores poets who've lengthy requested what our materiality can let us know approximately our customers for brand spanking new types of our fabric selves.

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Extra info for American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)

Example text

La Mettrie’s endorsement of “ignorance” thus seems to me an important moment in the history of aporetic materialism because it grants a kind of permission to dodge the conceptual difficulties central to materialist accounts of the human. 18 Atomists who attempt such an evasion have often been censured, though less severely than La Mettrie, for their eagerness to promote materialist theses said to authorize ontological or cosmological assertions. In the late-nineteenth century, for instance, the preeminent response to this aporetic tradition was Friedrich A.

From this point of view, texts that disclose the untenability of atomist models of human experience comprise a history of modern materialism that describes not only what limits those models but what conditions their possibility. Feeling the Charm It is worth noting that James does not posit his dichotomy pitting universals against particulars as though it were built into the structure of the natural world, nor as though it were a logical dilemma distinct from the vicissitudes of human impulses.

As hypostases designed to betray the dynamism of a negative dialectical operation, intimacy and alterity resemble illusive categories. They labor hopelessly, James and Adorno illustrate, toward a resolution of the tension that defines their (non-)difference. As instances in the range of possibilities that characterize the subject’s sensation of its own materiality, however, intimacy and alterity also provide useful indices, even opportunities, for describing the remainder that sifts from the negation of both their convergence and their opposition.

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