27 ago. 2010

I always thought it would be interesting to compare postmodern poetry (from Olson to everyone else in the New American Poetry to what's called postmodernism in fiction (Barth, Coover, Pynchon, etc...). In other words, look at these two parallel movements together, the way they were received in the criticism. Postmodernism was Olson's coinage, but it didn't take off until it became applied to fiction. Boundary 2 was originally devoted to a more generically poetic version of postmodernism.

Gilbert Sorrentino is the major figure who is both a poet in the New American Poetry and a writer of postmodern metafiction. He would be interesting to look at. It would be also interesting to look at the fiction of Creeley, Jones [Baraka], etc... The novels of John Ashbery and James Schuyler. Why are the critical discourses on Pynchon and Olson so far apart?

A third definition of postmodernism, deriving from Lyotard, largely erased the literary postmodernism derived from American novelists inspired by Borges or American poets in the Olson tradition. After Lyotard's influential book, postmodernism merged with what was known, before that, as poststructuralism.

Anyway, this is a free dissertation topic for anyone who wants it. You can have it for free, as long as you put me in your acknowledgements somewhere. Postmodernism has got to the point where it's so old hat that it could almost be new again with a fresh critical perspective.

2 comentarios:

Andrew Shields dijo...

You've touched before on one reason Pynchon and Olson critics never meet: far too many literary scholars never look at any poetry.

Jonathan dijo...

Good point. But I also wonder why my own interest in some of these prose writers has waned. Is it a genre thing?