Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Marjorie Perloff on Stein & Eliot

Sporadic posts due to overwhelming deadlines, but I've been reading Perloff's 21st-Century Modernism: The "New" Poetics, the introduction to which is reprinted here. Lots of ideas, but loved this quote:
Prufrock's question "Do I dare eat a peach?" has no place in the world of Tender Buttons, where indeed one dares to eat a peach but where, in any case, the issue is not conformity to this or that social norm, but the nature of peachness itself.
So, to meditate on "ordinary things is to refigure one's own place in the world of objects", and yet how do we meditate? How do we refigure ourselves now some eighty years after Tender Buttons? Why do so many poems still get stuck asking the question of whether or not to dare eat a peach?

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