By A. Mikkelsen
Pastoral, Pragmatism, and Twentieth-Century American Poetry argues that pastoral has remained an important mode in glossy American poetry, frequently as a way of speaking approximately who the correct self or poet might be and the way the poet suits into the bigger nationwide neighborhood. motivated through the paintings of William James and John Dewey, Ann Mikkelsen deftly argues that the “pragmatic pastoral” mode depicts a transitory, evolving, experimental nation of being instead of a static, ironic, or nostalgic worldview. via re-evaluating relationships among the poet and the folks, the poem and existence event, this ebook demonstrates that those pastorals mirror the moral dilemmas of a society in flux.
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Extra resources for Pastoral, Pragmatism, and Twentieth-Century American Poetry (Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics)
Even the critic is granted a role in this process, for in interpreting “the moral function of art” he furthers art’s role in “remov[ing] prejudice,” and “tear[ing] away the veils due to wont and custom” (Art, 324). Dewey’s connection between art and democracy proved significant and inspiring, as it provided an opportunity for a diverse range of individuals to establish themselves as citizens by virtue of their aesthetic activity. In his emphasis upon knowledge and creativity as the basis for ethical and political legitimacy, Dewey sought to extend the promise of full citizenship beyond the proprietary upper and upper-middle classes through education.
A moral whole, nor as part of a larger social whole, but as an owner of himself ” (Macpherson, 3). This model for the self, developed from the British empirical tradition of Locke, Hume, and Bentham, but subsuming the ethical imperative to an economic one, became predominant by the mid-nineteenth century as the individualist and pioneer (differentiated, to an extent, from the farmer) became models for the national subject. 10 This disruption of the humanist pastoral tradition was a phenomenon that American philosophy and literature both embraced and attempted to keep at a distance.
Fusing aspects of tramp narratives that appeared in dime novels and journalistic exposés with popular poetic renditions of the tramp as a kind of modern “Pan” or idealized pastoral artist, Frost was able to produce ideologically ambivalent depictions of poverty and the plight of the modern poet, the latter’s position both collapsed into and juxtaposed with the social marginality of the tramp. The connection between the underprivileged and poetic practice is exemplified early in Frost’s career, in “The Mill City” (1905), a grim sonnet that depicts sympathetically the ranks of mill workers from which so many tramps of the period came.
Pastoral, Pragmatism, and Twentieth-Century American Poetry (Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics) by A. Mikkelsen