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Physics Envy
Author: Peter Middleton

ISBN: 9780226290003
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 7 October 2015
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 16.51 x 1.91
In Physics Envy, Peter Middleton argues that science has had a strong influence on the course of American poetry since WWII. He focuses on poets as different as Charles Olsen, Robert Duncan, John Ashbery, and others, and how they responded to advances in science (especially physics) in the development of ambitious poetry programs and poetics. For Middleton, the major shift came in the 1970s, when the more traditional New American poetry gave way to the experiments of Language poetry, and he shows surprising correlations between how poetry was conceived and written, on the one hand, and the advances in physics, chemistry, and biology at the time, on the other. Though it was discoveries in physics (e.g., the atomic bomb) that started this science envy" after the war, Middleton finds poets borrowing and adapting language from the other sciences as well, for example, the way the language and concepts used by biologists were taken up by poets and poetry theorists to create their own recombinant poetics of language, often calling what they did, however abstract, inquiries and experiments in language. Even the ideas and language from the leading popular scient...

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