By Mark Noble
In American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens, Mark Noble examines writers who proportion the idea that personhood should be understood as a fabric occasion. via new readings of Whitman, Emerson, Santayana, and Stevens, Noble uncovers a literary historical past wrestling with the results of its personal materialism, and asks what this account of shared materiality can let us know concerning the such a lot profoundly secular types of the fashionable topic. At a second whilst numerous new types of the connection among human adventure and its actual flooring flow between serious theorists and philosophers of technology, American Poetic Materialism explores poets who've lengthy requested what our materiality can let us know approximately our customers for brand spanking new types of our fabric selves.
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Additional resources for American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)
To the contrary, this book examines writers who find such continuity explosive, exhilarating, and, most of all, necessary for describing the composition of embodied subjects who experience the joy of intimacy alongside the fact of alterity. ” Such encounters are most interesting when they introduce readers to the possibilities and the curiosities, as well as the dangers and fissures, that belong to materialist accounts of the human subject. Aporetic Materialism Tracing the materialisms of writers who explore the continuity James inadvertently demonstrates also means wagering that a literary history of atomized subjects illuminates contemporary theorizations of materiality.
I have suggested that what James calls a bifurcation between generalizing and particularizing impulses actually resembles one demonstration of this conceptual bind. His materialist craves the sensation of intimacy that materialism itself purports to disavow. Much of today’s scholarship appears to crave coherent structures for modeling the subject that its materialism at once founds and undermines. And yet this aporetic situation should not be understood as a disabling one. To the contrary, it suggests the need for ever more nuanced accounts of the dialectical relationship that binds models of human experience to conceptions of physical reality.
Mechanistic accounts of human corporeality were by no means anathema to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century models of the human. In the century of natural philosophy that precedes L’Homme-machine, the trope of the corporeal mechanism plays an important role for a range of thinkers, including Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, Pierre Gassendi, Robert Boyle, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes. 14 The scandalous aspect of La Mettrie’s version of this mechanical figure, however, stems from his brazen presumption of its adequacy for explaining every facet of human experience and thus the triviality of any tradition that purports to address whatever lies outside or beyond its reach.
American Poetic Materialism from Whitman to Stevens (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture) by Mark Noble