Charles Olson and Alfred North Whitehead: An Essay on Poetry

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Through a detailed and thoughtful study of the impact of Alfred North Whitehead's philosophy on Olson's aesthetic theory, this book points out the conceptual unity underlying what seems to be a sprawl of fragments in Olson's major work, The Maximus Poems. It is a systematic analysis of the specific ways in which Whitehead's philosophy offered Olson a way to combine a scientific and mythopoeic view of time and space. From this, Olson constructed a poetic that could renew human contact with the external world and rid poetry of the traditional western imperial ego. The author uses Olson's philosophical investment in Whitehead in order to explain not only the content of Olson's verse, but its formal, structural elements. It illuminates Olson's theory of the Long Poem as an "all-containing" corpus, governed by the metaphysical principles, equal to life itself, enacted in the process of working on The Maximus Poems.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAssociated University Presses
Number of pages164
ISBN (Print)9781611481907
StatePublished - 2004


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