John Ashbery and American Poetry

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Manchester University Press, 2000 - American poetry - 245 pages
A discussion of the poetry of John Ashbery. Showing that a sense of occasion - the sense that the poem should be fit for its occasion - was a binding principle for the poets of the New York School, David Herd traces the development of Ashbery's poetry in the light of this idea. The book is a study of Ashbery's career and also a history of the period in which that career has taken shape. The development of Ashbery's poetic is set against such culturally defining issues as: the institutionalisation of literature; the rise and fall of the avant-garde; mass culture; Vietnam; the absence of a divine presence; the erosion of tradition; the growth of celebrity; and the emergence of AIDS. Ashbery's responses to such issues are set against the work of Lowell, Berryman, O'Hara, Koch, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Oppen and Larkin.

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John Ashbery and American poetry

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In 1979, Ashbery's Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and ever since he has embodied the paradox he himself ... Read full review


the early poetry and its backgrounds
collaboration and the New York School
The Tennis Court Oath and the poetics
experiment and declaration in Rivers
the sceptical tradition of Three Poems
Portrait in a Convex Mirror and Houseboat Days
the poet and his communities
the sense of an ending in recent

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