By Oren Izenberg
"Because i'm really not silent," George Oppen wrote, "the poems are bad." What does it suggest for the goodness of an artwork to depend on its disappearance? In Being Numerous, Oren Izenberg deals a brand new strategy to comprehend the divisions that manage twentieth-century poetry. He argues that crucial clash isn't among kinds or aesthetic politics, yet among poets who search to maintain or produce the incommensurable particularity of expertise through making robust items, and poets whose radical dedication to summary personhood turns out altogether incompatible with experience--and with poems.
Reading around the obvious gulf that separates conventional and avant-garde poets, Izenberg unearths the typical philosophical urgency that lies in the back of different varieties of poetic difficulty--from Yeats's esoteric symbolism and Oppen's minimalism and silence to O'Hara's cheerful slightness and the Language poets' rejection of conventional aesthetic satisfactions. For those poets, what starts off as a realistic query in regards to the behavior of literary life--what distinguishes a poet or crew of poets?--ends up as an ontological inquiry approximately social existence: what's somebody and the way is a group attainable? within the face of the violence and dislocation of the 20th century, those poets face up to their will to mastery, draw back from the sensual richness in their most powerful paintings, and undermine the particularity in their resourceful and ethical visions--all on the way to let personhood itself to grow to be an indisputable fact making an unrefusable claim.