Cover: The Sound of Modern Polish Poetry: Performance and Recording after World War II, from Harvard University PressCover: The Sound of Modern Polish Poetry in HARDCOVER

The Sound of Modern Polish Poetry

Performance and Recording after World War II

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Product Details


$45.00 • £36.95 • €40.50

ISBN 9780674261112

Publication Date: 12/07/2021


376 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

24 illus.


An exemplary study of poets’ sound recordings, public and private, in postwar Poland. Aleksandra Kremer reads poetic performance styles through history, aesthetics, national culture, ideology, and translation, often using machine-assisted prosodic analysis. Her close listenings reveal the many ways in which poets’ voicings exceed their texts.—Charles Bernstein, author of Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word

Erudite, lively, and brilliant, this book examines Polish culture through an original point of entry: poetry performance. Exploring the audio practices of canonical modern poets within the context of history, Kremer achieves a true breakthrough in literary and performance studies.—Irena Grudzińska-Gross, author of Czesław Miłosz and Joseph Brodsky: Fellowship of Poets

Listening closely to an audio archive of postwar Polish poets including Miłosz, Herbert, Różewicz, and Szymborska, Aleksandra Kremer shows how each one navigated the cultural and political pressure to embody the Polish people and country. These writers strove to recapture the singularity of everyday speech, wresting their voices from the state and the dramatic stage actors who often performed poetry. The paradox at the center of this rich account is how the strategic downsizing enabled by tape recording ultimately expanded Polish poets’ range of address.—Lytle Shaw, author of Narrowcast: Poetry and Audio Research

Aleksandra Kremer makes a compelling case for modern Polish culture as a ‘laboratory of poetry performance’ in this original, masterfully researched study. It is a must-read not just for specialists, but for anyone interested in postwar Polish writing or indeed, in new ways of combining the humanities with technology while doing full justice to both.—Clare Cavanagh, author of Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics: Russia, Poland, and the West

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