Hardback
December 30, 2019
9781421433769
English
320
114637
14
14
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.99 Inches (US)
1.2 Pounds (US)
$99.95 USD, £74.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
December 30, 2019
9781421433783
9781421433769
English
320
114637
14
14
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$34.95 USD, £26.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
December 30, 2019
9781421433776
English
320
114637
14
14
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.74 Inches (US)
.95 Pounds (US)
$34.95 USD, £26.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Experimental

American Literature and the Aesthetics of Knowledge

In this bold new study of twentieth-century American writing and poetics, Natalia Cecire argues that experimental writing should be understood as a historical phenomenon before it is understood as a set of formal phenomena. This seems counterintuitive because, at its most basic level, experimental writing can be thought of as writing which breaks from established forms. Touching on figures who are not typically considered experimental, such as Stephen Crane, Jacob Riis, Busby Berkeley, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Gottlob Frege, Experimental offers a fresh look at authors who are often treated as constituting a center or an origin point of an experimental literary tradition in the United States, including Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Marianne Moore. In responding to a crisis of legitimization in the production of knowledge, this tradition borrows and transforms the language of the sciences.

Drawing upon terminology from the history of science, Cecire invokes the epistemic virtue, which tethers ethical values to the production of knowledge in order to organize diverse turn-of-the-century knowledge practices feeding into "experimental writing." Using these epistemic virtues as a structuring concept for the book's argument, Cecire demonstrates that experimental writing as we now understand it does not do experiments (as in follow a method) but rather performs epistemic virtues. Experimental texts embody the epistemic virtues of flash, objectivity, precision, and contact, associated respectively with population sciences, neuroanatomy, natural history and toolmaking, and anthropology. Yet which virtues take precedence may vary widely, as may the literary forms through which they manifest.

Bringing it up to the 1980s, Cecire reveals the American experimental literary tradition as a concerted and largely successful rewriting of twentieth-century literary history. She shows how the Language poets, a group of primarily white experimental writers, restored to the canon what they saw as modernism's true legacy, whose stakes were simultaneously political and epistemological: it produced a poet who was an intellectual and a text that was experimental.

About the Author

Natalia Cecire is a lecturer in English and American studies at the University of Sussex.

Endorsementss

"Experimental moves deftly across expanses of twentieth-century literature and culture, addressing the intersections of technology, gender, epistemology, and poetic form. Cecire is a wonderful guide to this material, as she traces the uses of the concept of experimentalism in both scientific and literary contexts. This is a fantastic book—provoking, insightful, and assured."

- Heather K. Love, University of Pennsylvania, author of Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History

"In spite of its ubiquitous characterization of poetry, the descriptor 'experimental' has almost never received examination. This extraordinary, beautifully written book finally cracks open this black box and in the process helps us to see modernism and Language writers' role in its construction anew. Cecire's bold and original account of the ideologies and epistemic virtues of the experimental tradition is destined to be required reading for anyone interested in modernism, science studies, or twentieth- and twenty-first-century poetry and poetics."

- Benjamin A. Kahan, Louisiana State University, author of Celibacies: American Modernism and Sexual Life

"In Experimental, Natalia Cecire unfolds a world—a gleaming, precise, and immediate world in which epistemic virtues surface in the uneven interactions between early-twentieth century American writing and the social and biological sciences. Cecire offers a brilliant new aesthetic genealogy for what we call experimental writing in its modern and contemporary formations. Experimental provides an essential account of how the story of experimentalism in American literature has been and, importantly, will be told, and it inhabits the vocabulary that story needs."

- Kate Marshall, University of Notre Dame, author of Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction

"Cecire brilliantly constructs an archaeology of experimental knowledge with modern literature front and center. This is an ethically minded, politically engaged, and deeply knowledgeable book that fundamentally recasts the relationship between twentieth-century literary studies and the history of science. As generative as it is transformative."

- Bartholomew Brinkman, Framingham State University, author of Poetic Modernism in the Culture of Mass Print

"Cecire's book about ways of seeing offers its own pleasures of scale: at the macro level, a striking argument about experimental poetry's dream of scientific virtues; at the micro, a series of dazzling inquiries into those virtues' ambivalent workings, from precision's cool finesse to the panorama captured in a flash."

- Jennifer L. Fleissner, Indiana University, Bloomington, author of Women, Compulsion, Modernity: The Moment of American Naturalism
Johns Hopkins University Press
Hopkins Studies in Modernism
From 17

9781421433769 : experimental-cecire
Hardback
December 30, 2019
$99.95 USD
9781421433783 : experimental-cecire
Electronic book text
December 30, 2019
$34.95 USD
9781421433776 : experimental-cecire
Paperback / softback
December 30, 2019
$34.95 USD

Other Titles from Hopkins Studies in Modernism

Ephemeral Bibelots

Brad Evans
Sep 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$94.95 USD - Hardback

Decadence in the Age of Modernism

edited by Kate Hext and Alex Murray
Jul 2019 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

Modernist Time Ecology

Jesse Matz
Dec 2018 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in LITERARY CRITICISM / Semiotics & Theory

The Forms of Informal Empire

Jessie Reeder
Jun 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$94.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Detectives in the Shadows

Susanna Lee
Jun 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$27.00 USD - Hardback
$27.00 USD - Electronic book text

Stories and the Brain

Paul B. Armstrong
May 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$94.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in Literary theory

The Forms of Informal Empire

Jessie Reeder
Jun 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$94.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Detectives in the Shadows

Susanna Lee
Jun 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$27.00 USD - Hardback
$27.00 USD - Electronic book text

Stories and the Brain

Paul B. Armstrong
May 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$94.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback