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The Line's Eye
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: Poetic Experience Theories and Practices Range-finding Line's Eye, Lit Stream; Jefferson, Audubon, and Thoreau Nature The Force of the Fable: Thoreau, Dickinson, and Moore So Much Depends: Audubon, Dickinson, and Williams Culture To Set the Voices Speaking: Jefferson, Williams, and Frost Work, Works, Working: Edwards, Frost, and Moore Notes Works Cited Index

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In the hands of Elisa New's beautifully written study, the American Poem vibrates with 'the feel' of living in a land of substance and of experience in pursuit of itself. -- Martha Banta, University of California, Los Angeles Elisa New's searching analysis of the rhetoric of landscape brilliantly refutes current orthodoxies in American criticism. Her close readings of poems by such as Dickinson, Moore, Williams, and Frost demonstrate the powers of the critical mind uncannily alert to what John Ashbery has called 'the lumps and trials' of the poetic experience. -- Mark Ford, University College London Elisa New is out to challenge the presuppositions of much revisionist criticism of American writing by attempting to recuperate the notion of the aesthetic...Postulating an 'other American Protestantism,' she manages to give us the fullest elaboration we have yet had of a pragmatist tradition in American poetry. -- Giles Gunn, University of California, Santa Barbara [Elisa New possesses a] clear and deep sympathy with the lyric gifts Protestant ethics can bestow and have already bestowed on our culture. -- Susan Howe, State University of New York, Buffalo Elisa New's The Line's Eye is a glorious work: exuberant, learned, discriminate, purposeful, eloquent. -- Allen Grossman, Johns Hopkins University There is a largeness of scope and vision to this book that has been missing from American cultural criticism for far too long a time; yet New also closely observes the minute particular. The resulting breakthrough, while it shatters some sacred vessels, also restores us to that basic sanity and grace that are the kinetic heritage of America's greatest writers, thinkers, poets, and critics. -- Barton Levi St.Armand, Brown University What you get in this challenging, engaging book is an argument about poetry that embraces, without embarrassment, poetry's ways of seeing. I think it has a great chance to redirect the whole enterprise of the academic discussion of poetry by elevating that actual and operant respect for poetry required in those who would presume to assess it. -- Albert J. von Frank, Washington State University

About the Author

Elisa New is Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature at Harvard University.

Reviews

This volume [is] a longed-for return of positivism and appreciation after the dark scrutinies of new historicism...Altogether, New's is a masterpiece of critical writing: philosophically shrewd, beautifully articulate, calmly learned, endlessly surprising, deft in general and in detail...Surely of interest to students of US literature at all levels. -- S. C. Dillon * Choice *
If poetry is understood to be a "genre of experience," then one may all too easily see through genre to experience as if neither the formal nor the historical aspects of representation got in the way. Since they do, and since New knows that they do, the book must negotiate the obstacles to its own ambitions (her vision's nemeses and her romance's corrections) and so ends up taking just the path of most resistance that it admires in American thought. -- Virginia Jackson * Raritan *
In the hands of Elisa New's beautifully written study, the American Poem vibrates with 'the feel' of living in a land of substance and of experience in pursuit of itself. -- Martha Banta, University of California, Los Angeles
Elisa New's searching analysis of the rhetoric of landscape brilliantly refutes current orthodoxies in American criticism. Her close readings of poems by such as Dickinson, Moore, Williams, and Frost demonstrate the powers of the critical mind uncannily alert to what John Ashbery has called 'the lumps and trials' of the poetic experience. -- Mark Ford, University College London
Elisa New is out to challenge the presuppositions of much revisionist criticism of American writing by attempting to recuperate the notion of the aesthetic...Postulating an 'other American Protestantism,' she manages to give us the fullest elaboration we have yet had of a pragmatist tradition in American poetry. -- Giles Gunn, University of California, Santa Barbara
[Elisa New possesses a] clear and deep sympathy with the lyric gifts Protestant ethics can bestow and have already bestowed on our culture. -- Susan Howe, State University of New York, Buffalo
Elisa New's The Line's Eye is a glorious work: exuberant, learned, discriminate, purposeful, eloquent. -- Allen Grossman, Johns Hopkins University
There is a largeness of scope and vision to this book that has been missing from American cultural criticism for far too long a time; yet New also closely observes the minute particular. The resulting breakthrough, while it shatters some sacred vessels, also restores us to that basic sanity and grace that are the kinetic heritage of America's greatest writers, thinkers, poets, and critics. -- Barton Levi St.Armand, Brown University
What you get in this challenging, engaging book is an argument about poetry that embraces, without embarrassment, poetry's ways of seeing. I think it has a great chance to redirect the whole enterprise of the academic discussion of poetry by elevating that actual and operant respect for poetry required in those who would presume to assess it. -- Albert J. von Frank, Washington State University

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