Identity and Society in American Poetry: The Romantic Tradition

by Robin Mookerjee

Table of Contents

Prefatory Notes

Introduction: The Estrangement of Poet and Reader

Critics in the Material World

The Dissociation of the Poet: A Brief History

An Overview of this Study

A Note on Inclusion and Exclusion

1. Romanticism and Politics: Perspectives and Contexts

Romanticism and Liberalism in Conflict

Romanticism, Mythology, and Ideology

From Aesthetics to Real World Politics

Transcendentalism and Empiricism

2. Selfless Reliance: Emerson's Psychology of Power

The Impersonal is Political

Emerson as a Psychologist

Emerson as Literary Guru

The Self as Society

Transcendental vs. Empirical Concepts of Identity

Nominalism, Realism, and Identity

The Post-Transcendentalist Poet

Friends of Solitude

"Experience": The Consequences of Power

3. Pound's Public Mysticism–––and Search for an Audience

The Missing Subject

From Emerson to Whitman to Pound

Pound's Casual Mysticism

Containing Power in Language

The Translator as God

The Search for a Company

Questioning the Public Self

Romanticism, Modernism, and Liberalism (Revisited)

4. Infinity and Community in Emerson and Pound

Public and Private: Emersonian Paradoxes

The Self as Other: More Emersonian Paradoxes

The Community of Solitude (Revisited)

Pound: The Elimination of Otherness

The Cantos as a Mirror of Self

A Brief Summary

5. The Poem as Social Contract: Notes on the School of Pound

Limiting the Self

Williams: The Importance of Place

Paterson, Book One: Twilight of the Gods

Person as Place: Zukofsky, Olson, and Creeley

6. The "New Liberalism" of Williams and Olson

Radical Pluralism: Self and Fact in Paterson

Freedom of Association: The Maximus Poems

Afterword: Wisdom and Community


Works Cited and Consulted


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