Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Poetic Forgetting
Authors: Soong, Jennifer
Advisors: Stewart, Susan
Contributors: English Department
Subjects: English literature
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Poetic Forgetting investigates the evolution and legacy of a certain Modernist conception: that forgetting can constitute a creative principle. At the nexus of memory studies and poetics, it traces how certain American poets in the last 150 years have been drawn to forgetting, rather than remembering, as a way of writing and engaging with time, form, identity, will, consciousness, history, and genre. With a rich tapestry informed by various discourses—ranging from action theory to directed forgetting paradigms, critical race studies, aphasia and echolalia, the problem of identity, the semantics of tense, history and narrativity, the “duty to remember,” monuments and commemoration, kitsch, and pop art—I explore forgetting’s influence on Gertrude Stein, Lyn Hejinian, Tan Lin, and New York School poets John Ashbery, James Schuyler, Bernadette Mayer, and Ted Berrigan. I contend that across these writers’ works, forgetting’s shapeshifting produces differences in poetic style—and that this malleability is part of forgetting’s very nature. An art of forgetting not only includes words that can incentivize forgetting, but also speaks to the reverse: how forgetting generates poetic language itself. In theorizing the relationship between forgetting and writing, Poetic Forgetting delineates an aesthetic space for forgetting distinct from forgetting’s traditional associations with loss, suppression, erasure, and privation.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:English

Files in This Item:
This content is embargoed until 2023-05-24. For more information contact the Mudd Manuscript Library.

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.