Imagism and the Cryptaesthetic of Ezra Pound
By (author) Daniel Tiffany
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Radio Corpse by Daniel Tiffany
Book DescriptionAbout the origins of Anglo-American poetic modernism, one thing is certain: it started with a notion of the image, described variously by Ezra Pound as an ideogram and a vortex. We have reason to be less confident, however, about the relation between these puzzling conceptions of the image and the doctrine of literary positivism that is generally held to be the most important legacy of Imagism. No satisfactory account exists, moreover, of what bearing these foundational principles may have on Pound's later engagement with fascism. Nor is it clear how figures such as the vortex and the ideogram might contribute generally to our understanding of modern visual culture and its compulsive appeal. "Radio Corpse" addresses these issues and offers a revision of one of the most powerful and persistent aesthetic ideologies of modernism. Focusing on the necrophilic dimension of Pound's earliest poetry and on the inflections of materiality authorized by the modernist image, Daniel Tiffany establishes a continuum between Decadent practice and the incipient avant-garde, between the prehistory of the image and its political afterlife, between what Pound calls the "corpse language" of late Victorian poetry and a conception of the image that borrows certain "radioactive" qualities from the historical discovery of radium and the development of radiography. Emphasizing the phantasmic effects of translation (and exchange) in Pound's poetry, Tiffany argues that the cadaverous - and radiological - properties of the image culminate, formally and ideologically, in Pound's fascist radio broadcasts during World War II. Ultimately, the invisibility of these "radiant" images places in question basic assumptions regarding the optical character of images - assumptions currently being challenged by imageric technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674746626
(235mm x 155mm x 28mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Nov-1995
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Daniel Tiffany
My Silver Planet, Paperback (January 2015)
By exposing and elaborating the historical poetics of kitsch, My Silver Planet transforms our sense of kitsch as a category of material culture.
Infidel Poetics, Paperback (October 2009)
Poetry has long been regarded as the least accessible of literary genres. But how much does the obscurity that confounds the reader of a poem differ from, say, the slang or patois that captivates listeners of hip-hop? This book examines the shared incomprehensibilities of poetry and slang.
Toy Medium, Paperback (February 2000)» View all books by Daniel Tiffany
A meditation on one of Western philosophy's biggest puzzles: the relation of mind and matter. What is the role of imagination in defining material substance? In a study of the poetics of materialist philosophy, the text traces the historical union of matter and metaphor through a range of topics.
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Author Biography - Daniel Tiffany
Daniel Tiffany is Professor of English, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
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