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Content's Dream

Essays 1975-1984

Charles Bernstein (author)

ISBN: 9780810118454

Publication Date: Mar 2001

Format: Paperback

This collection of essays is an introduction to contemporary American poetics. The book addresses a wide range of arts and ideas, moving from philosophical reflections on Wittgenstein, to the film antics of Mad Max, from the paintings of Arakawa to the poetics of William Carlos Williams.
£27.95

Temporarily out of stock: usually despatched in 10-14 days

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First published in 1986, now a classic for all who care about the poetry and poetics of the late twentieth century, Content's Dream is a witty, consummately intelligent, and ever stylish collection of essays by one of the country's most innovative and influential poets, whose work has come to be associated with L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E, the magazine he coedited at the time these essays were being written. Addressing a wide range of arts and ideas, Bernstein moves rapidly from philosophical reflections on Ludwig Wittgenstein and Stanley Cavell, to the film antics of Mad Max and the cinema of Stan Brakhage, from the paintings of Arakawa to the poetics of William Carlos Williams and Robert Creeley, from the modernist poetry of Gertrude Stein, Laura Riding, and Louis Zukofsky to the contemporary poetry of Jackson Mac Low, Lyn Hejinian, and Ron Silliman. Bernstein's essays are poetic enactments rather than abstract theories, embodying in the way they are written the aesthetic values they passionately and eloquently express. While providing an essential introduction to the innovative poetry and poetics of L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E, Bernstein's investigations center on the relation of art to politics and specifically the politics of poetic form. He also explores the conditions, experiences, and alienation of everyday life and the ethical traps of characterization and representation. Bernstein imagines a "thinking" poetry of both process and critique that acknowledges and responds to the intractability and complexity of contemporary cultural and social problems. At once irreverent and politically engaged, as indebted to Groucho Marx as it is to Karl, Content's Dream is essay writing at its most exuberant and profound.

Reviews

Certain works are recognized as defining an epoch.... Postmodernism is now a distinctly articulated cultural formation. Within it, Content's Dream has been without question one of its defining critical and aesthetic documents. - JEROME MCGANN, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Pages 472
Date Published 31 Mar 2001
Publisher Northwestern University Press
Series Avant-garde and Modernism Studies
Subject/s Literary studies: poetry & poets   Prose: non-fiction   Philosophy of language  

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