Advertisement

Some Senses of Silence in Wallace Stevens

  • Thomas Gould
Chapter

Abstract

Through close analysis of a series of poems, Gould suggests ways in which Wallace Stevens’ poetry negotiates themes of silence and unsayability, in particular relation to anteriority and origin. Gould shows ways in which Stevens’ poetry collapses the distinction between silere and tacere, surveys various dialectical or dualistic approaches to Stevens’ poetry, and pursues a series of theoretical and philosophical digressions. Through a comparison between the poem “Girl in a Nightgown” and a fragment from Maurice Blanchot’s The Writing of the Disaster, Gould explores the relationship between silence, the imperative of language, and the experience of the limits of perception and intellection. Finally, Gould considers various critical and philosophical approaches to the silence of animals, before discussing examples of silent animality in a selection of poems by Stevens.

Bibliography

  1. Agamben, G., Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. D. Heller-Roazen, Stanford: Stanford University Press (1998).Google Scholar
  2. ———, Infancy and History, trans. L. Heron, London: Verso (2007).Google Scholar
  3. Altieri, C., Wallace Stevens and the Demands of Modernity, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press (2013).Google Scholar
  4. Balso, J., Affirmation of Poetry, trans. D.S. Burk, Minneapolis: Univocal (2014).Google Scholar
  5. Barthes, R., The Neutral, trans. R.E. Krauss and D. Hollier, New York: Columbia University Press (2005).Google Scholar
  6. Benjamin, W., Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings Volume 1. 1913–1926, ed. M. Bullock and M. W. Jennings, Cambridge: Harvard University Press (1996).Google Scholar
  7. Benveniste, E., Problems in General Linguistics, ed. M.E. Meek. Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press, (1966).Google Scholar
  8. Blanchot, M., The Writing of the Disaster, trans. A. Smock, Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press (1995).Google Scholar
  9. Blessing, R., Wallace Stevens’ “Whole Harmonium”, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press (1970).Google Scholar
  10. Blevins, J., “‘Suppose This Was the Root of Everything’: Stevens and the Imperative to Suppose”, in Wallace Stevens Journal, Vol. 37, Issue 1, Spring 2013, 70–90.Google Scholar
  11. Bloom, H., Wallace Stevens: The Poems of Our Climate, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press (1980).Google Scholar
  12. Celan, P., Collected Prose, trans. Rosemarie Waldrop, New York: Routledge (2003).Google Scholar
  13. Cohen, J., “Stevens’ Poetics of Resemblance”, in Wallace Stevens Across the Atlantic, ed. B. Eeckhout and E. Ragg, New York: Palgrave Macmillan (2008).Google Scholar
  14. Cook, E., Poetry, Word-Play, and Word-War in Wallace Stevens, Princeton: Princeton University Press (1988).Google Scholar
  15. Critchley, S., Things Merely Are, London and New York: Routledge (2005).Google Scholar
  16. De Man, P., Blindness and Insight: Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press (1986).Google Scholar
  17. Derrida, J., Of Grammatology, trans. G. Spivak, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press (1976).Google Scholar
  18. ———, The Animal That Therefore I Am, trans. D. Wills, New York: Fordham University Press (2008).Google Scholar
  19. Eeckhout, B., “When Language Stops…Suspension Points in the Poetry of Hart Crane and Wallace Stevens”, in Semantics of Silences in Linguistics and Literature, ed. G.M. Grabner and U. Jessner, Heidelberg: Winter (1996).Google Scholar
  20. ———, Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Reading and Writing, Columbia: University of Missouri Press (2002).Google Scholar
  21. Eliot, G., Middlemarch, ed. R. Ashton, London: Penguin (1994).Google Scholar
  22. Heidegger, M., Being and Time, trans. J. Macquarrie and E. Robinson, New York: HarperCollins (2008).Google Scholar
  23. Hill, L., Maurice Blanchot and Fragmentary Writing: A Change of Epoch, London: Continuum (2012).Google Scholar
  24. Hillis Miller, J., Poets of Reality, London: Oxford University Press (1966).Google Scholar
  25. ———, The Conflagration of Community: Fiction Before and After Auschwitz, Chicago: University of Chicago Press (2011).Google Scholar
  26. Jameson, F., “Wallace Stevens”, in New Orleans Review, Vol. 11, 1984, 10–19.Google Scholar
  27. Johnson, B., “Pure Poetry, Ideas of Order, and the Problem of Poetic Solitude”, in The Wallace Stevens Journal, Vol. 32, Issue 2, Fall 2008, 181–205.Google Scholar
  28. Lacoue-Labarthe, P., Poetry as Experience, trans. A. Tarnowski, Stanford: Stanford University Press (1999).Google Scholar
  29. Leggett., B.J., Early Stevens: The Nietzschean Intertext, London: Duke University Press (1992).Google Scholar
  30. Lentricchia, F., “Wallace Stevens: The Ironic Eye”, in Wallace Stevens: A Critical Anthology, ed. I. Ehrenpreis, London: Penguin (1972).Google Scholar
  31. Longenbach J., Wallace Stevens: The Plain Sense of Things, New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press (1991).Google Scholar
  32. Mao, D., Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production, Princeton: Princeton University Press (1998).Google Scholar
  33. Meillassoux, Q., After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency, trans. R. Brassier, London: Bloomsbury (2009).Google Scholar
  34. Nancy, J., The Sense of the World, trans. J. S. Librett, Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press (1997).Google Scholar
  35. ———, A Finite Thinking, ed. S. Sparks, Stanford: Stanford University Press (2003).Google Scholar
  36. ———, Adoration: The Deconstruction of Christianity II, trans. J. McKeane, New York: Fordham University Press (2013).Google Scholar
  37. Picard, M., The World of Silence, trans. S. Goodman, London: The Harvill Press (1948).Google Scholar
  38. Plato, Phaedrus, trans. C. Rowe, London: Penguin (2005).Google Scholar
  39. Rosu, A., The Metaphysics of Sound in Wallace Stevens, London: The University of Alabama Press (1995).Google Scholar
  40. Schulze, R., The Web of Friendship: Marianne Moore and Wallace Stevens, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press (1995).Google Scholar
  41. Shaviro, S., ‘“That Which Is Always Beginning’: Stevens’ Poetry of Affirmation”, in PMLA, Vol. 100, Issue 2, 1985, 220–233.Google Scholar
  42. Steiner, G., Language and Silence, London: Faber and Faber (1985).Google Scholar
  43. Stevens, W., Letters of Wallace Stevens, ed. H. Stevens, New York: Knopf (1972).Google Scholar
  44. ———, The Necessary Angel, London: Faber and Faber (1984).Google Scholar
  45. ———, Opus Posthumous, New York: Alfred A. Knopf (1989).Google Scholar
  46. ———, The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens, New York: Vintage (1990).Google Scholar
  47. ———, Wallace Stevens: Collected Poetry and Prose, ed. F. Kermode and J. Richardson, New York: Library of America (1997).Google Scholar
  48. Woodland, M., Wallace Stevens and the Apocalyptic Mode, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press (2005).Google Scholar
  49. Ziarek, K., Inflected Language: Toward a Hermeneutics of Nearness, Albany: State University of New York Press (1994).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Gould
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations