John Ashbery and Anglo-American exchange: the minor eras

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This book shows how the work of a major post-war American poet has been centrally concerned with questions of national identity and intercultural poetic exchange, by reading crucial episodes in John Ashbery’s oeuvre in the context of an ‘other tradition’ of twentieth-century English poets he himself has defined. This line runs from the editor of Ashbery’s recent Collected Poems, Mark Ford, through Lee Harwood in the late 1960s, F. T. Prince in the 1950s, to ‘chronologically the first and therefore most important influence’ on his own work, W. H. Auden. Through detailed close readings of the poetry of Ashbery and these English poets, original interviews, and extensive archival research, a new account of Ashbery’s ‘minor’ aesthetic and a significant re-mapping of postwar English poetry are presented. The biographical slant of the book is highly significant, as it reads these writers’ poetry and correspondence together for the first time, suggesting how major poetic innovations arose from specific social contexts, from the particulars of relations between poets, and also from a broader climate of transatlantic exchange as registered by each poet. The result is that both Ashbery himself, and the landscape of post-war English poetry, are viewed in a significantly new light.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages209
ISBN (Electronic)9780191861093
ISBN (Print)9780198822011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameOxford English Monographs

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