"Fallen from the Symboled World": Precedents for the New Formalism

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byWyatt Prunty

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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.

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From Our Editors

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.

From the Publisher

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 theisti...

Wyatt Prunty is at Johns Hopkins University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.54 × 5.83 × 1.18 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195057864

ISBN - 13:9780195057867

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From Our Editors

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.

Editorial Reviews

"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