MOSAIC - Studien und Texte zur amerikanischen Kultur und Geschichte, Band 45

René Dietrich

Revising and Remembering (after) the End

American Post-Apocalyptic Poetry since 1945 from Ginsberg to Forché

American post-apocalyptic poetry responds to historical catastrophes and lasting traumas. This study is the first to acknowledge the post-apocalyptic imagination in contemporary American poetry. Poets such as Allen Ginsberg, W. S. Merwin, Mark Strand, Susan Howe, Joy Harjo, and Carolyn Forché create after-the-end scenarios of ruins and remains that critique notions of breaking free from the past and revise the ideology of constant renewal, central to the idea of American apocalypticism. Revising and Remembering (after) the End investigates the aftermath of World War II and postmodern thought as post-apocalyptic contexts, and outlines a post-apocalyptic poetics which reworks features of the elegy, testimony, and apocalyptic poetry. Covering poets who have contributed to such varied directions as Beat poetry, deep image, new formalism, language poetry, Native American poetry, and post-confessionalism, this study unfolds a history of contemporary American poetry that does not divide along these lines. In detailed readings, Revising and Remembering (after) the End shows instead how these six poets thematically and formally relate to each other by engaging some of the darkest aspects of modern history. Their work enables the reader to imagine an open future, remaining responsible to pasts which still shape our present.


ISBN 978-3-86821-439-0, kt., € 29,50 (2012)


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