PDF Signaler ce document 1For many a modernist writer Shakespeare is a strong influence to be dealt with as the emergence of 20th century literature challenges and revisits tradition, by looking back on Renaissance writers and previous modes of expression. Eliot, who co-edited The Egoist with H. Among these poets and artists of the past, Shakespeare, perhaps standing as the epitome of English literary tradition, is to be reckoned with.
Used with the permission of the author and publisher. Taking up the tension between poetry and philosophy, this palimpsestic writing a resume traces the way the poetics of American Language poet Charles Bernstein redefines the domains of these two modes of discourse, and demonstrates palimpsestic writing a resume they share a common medium, a common ground, and common issues.
If language is a medium, according to Bernstein, it is not the medium of our hermeneutic attempts, the medium through which we convey meanings about the world and our experience. Such reflection on the very functioning of language is not entirely new to the domain of poetry and poetics, although it seems to become more and more central as the Modernist experience unfolds and as poets, once free of the constraints of metrics, focus on the materiality of language.
The shift from the commitment to the spoken, which was at the origins of the questioning of metrics, to a commitment to the quiddity of words, beyond or beside their visual dimension, is at stake in the so-called linguistic turn. With Gertrude Stein, Charles Bernstein although he is not the only one in this calls attention to the combinatory nature of language and to the potentialities of deviant combinations to increase the awareness of the conventional in conventions, of the limitations enforced by the criteria of legibility and intelligibility.
With Ludwig Wittgenstein, Bernstein integrates the idea that thought advances in language and that the borders of the conceivable coincide with the frontiers of the sayable.
Paradise, as hell, inheres: Thus the poetic mode of the Steinian enigmatic proposition comes to meet the Wittgensteinian philosophical mode of the aphorism, on the common ground of a Bernsteinian reflexive poem.
With Charles Bernstein, the difference between the two is to be abolished: By focusing notably on The Claim of Reason, Bernstein situates his thinking in a context in which reason does not only have claims but also in which reason could be claimed In the opening pages of The Claim of Reason, Stanley Cavell points to the splitting of the philosophical tradition of the West into a British and American mode and a Continental mode as somehow analogous to the split within our own one culture between philosophy and literature.
What Bernstein here calls for is to transcend generic splittings so that our activity in language can be recognized and evaluated.
We are not dealing with the proliferation of codes that need finer and finer analyses and specifications, and their corollary aspirations to impossible unity and general communication. The lesson of metaphysical finitude is not that the world is just codes and as a result presence is to be ruled out as anything more than nostalgia, but that we can have presence, insofar as we are able, only through a shared grammar.
The thickness of writing, far from rivaling that of the world, is on the contrary the sole means it has to go to the heart of things by making itself part of the material world, absorbed by it.
If philosophy is to be characterized as a form consisting of clearly exposited arguments whose appeal is to the logic of validity, then it would systematically be limited by the limits of expository practice. Rather it seems to me that, as a mode, contemporary expository writing edges close to being merely a style of decorous thinking, rigidified and formalized to a point severed from its historical relation to method in Descartes and Bacon.
It is no longer an enactment of thinking or reasoning but a representation and simplification of an 18 th century ideal of reasoning.
And yet the hegemony of its practice is rarely questioned outside certain poetic and philosophic contexts. On this level, I would characterize as sharing a political project both a philosophical practice and a poetic practice that refuse to adopt expository principles as their basic claim to validity.
Bernstein in Silliman  As Bernstein follows on in a fairly well-known fashion by opposing the writing of Montaigne to that of Descartes Bernstein in Silliman the strong ties between a refusal to differentiate between the domains of philosophy and poetry and a particular form of political protest come to the fore.
And this definition is poetic, philosophical and political, as if these three terms which we distinguish out of necessity were in fact referring to one and the same thing.
A small typographical feature can serve as an initial symptom.
This doppelganger embodies a key property of the book: It is not simply the opposition to a poetics, given, conventional and to be stigmatized.
To avoid this violence, stability of genre is sacrificed. The excerpt could be poetry, prose, or neither. It looks like poetry but the rhetoric and subject are expository, and the line breaks are insignificant.
Such blurring is the point [ It is just my insistence that poetry be understood as epistemological inquiry; to cede meaning would be to undercut the power of poetry to reconnect us with modes of meaning given in language but precluded by the hegemony of restricted epistemological economies an hegemony that moves toward the negation of nondominant restricted economies as much as repressing the asymptotic horizon of the unrestricted economies.
And this is also where poetry and philosophy compete, carrying on a project of investigation through means and modes that are conventionally conceived of as different, but only when conforming with a convention which demands questioning: Indeed if one takes it to be the primary philosophical problem—many philosophers of course do not—that the description ontology of events, persons, experience, objects, etc.
The poetry and philosophy share the project of investigating the possibilities nature and structures of phenomena. Bernstein in Silliman  As Bernstein borrows from Descartes the emphasis not on the results of investigation so much as on the method of investigating, he conceptualizes a trend latent in 20 th-century poetry which insists on the commitment to the process of creation rather than on its final object.
However, in this specific case, the insistence on process leads to an exploration outside the boundaries of one mode, not taking another as its object but taking itself as its own object.
Such a textual practice would have a dialogic or polylogic rather than monologic method. The underlying statement bridges the gap between the expository or rational and the poetic or lyrical. It implies a denial of the poetic claim to a natural, uncontrived, mode of self-expression, which has become the trademark of some poets of orality.Palimpsestic Tendencies is a body of work that deals with repetition and transformation.
The word palimpsest is defined as “a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain.”.
Hélène Aji Université du Maine (France) “Writing (as) (and) thinking”: McCaffery and Silliman, or Veil, a palimpsestic text of superimposed pages made hardly legible but kept decipherable so that reading becomes a painful exercise in peering and eye Language Writing and Literary History.
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