Cover: Death in Quotation Marks: Cultural Myths of the Modern Poet, from Harvard University PressCover: Death in Quotation Marks in E-DITION

Harvard Studies in Comparative Literature 41

Death in Quotation Marks

Cultural Myths of the Modern Poet

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$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674419018

Publication Date: 03/01/1991

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An original and powerful book. The Mallarmé–Rimbaud–Mayakovsky trio provides a spectacular example of three highly differentiated poetic lives, each given shape by a relation to literature that is to a considerable extent the burden of that literature.—Jonathan Culler, Cornell University

This is the most sophisticated, brilliant, and exciting critical study I have read in a long time, the sort of book that gives the reader new hope that perhaps, despite all the current doom-saying about the state of criticism in the academy, our universities are still producing some wonderful scholar-critics. Svetlana Boym’s aim is to rethink the relationship of life, text, and culture without, as she says, subordinating one to another. Is the death of the poet (here regarded both figuratively and literally) to be wholly textualized? The figurative murder of the poet’s biography by the critic (both the old New Critic and the Deconstructive Critic), Boym feels, deserves to be reconsidered. To privilege the interiority of writing is, after all, something of a myth in itself. What is it that is being repressed, erased? What are the limitations of a critical discourse that excludes the poet’s biography from the scope of inquiry? Boym is a brilliant critic, whose individual readings are often stunning.—Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University

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