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Wallace Stevens and the Poetics of Modernist Autonomy
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Book description

Wallace Stevens and the Poetics of Modernist Autonomy presents a rethinking of modernist claims to autonomy by focusing on the work of Wallace Stevens, one of the most renowned poets of the twentieth century. By showing how multiple socio-political currents underlie and motivate Stevens' version of autonomy, the book challenges the commonly received accounts of the term as art and literature's escape from the world. It provides new and close readings of Stevens' work including poems from different stages of the poet's career. It re-energizes a tradition of historicist readings of Stevens from the 1980s and 1990s. The study of Stevens' work in this book is developed in constant dialogue with current studies in modernism and aesthetic theory, particularly those offered by Jacques Rancière and Alain Badiou. The book explores the question of autonomy in Stevens' exploration of the aesthetic and social domains, and the vexed issue of his poetry's relation to philosophical thinking.

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