AUC Philologica (Acta Universitatis Carolinae Philologica) is an academic journal published by Charles University. It publishes scholarly articles in a large number of disciplines (English, German, Greek and Latin, Oriental, Romance and Slavonic studies, as well as in phonetics and translation studies), both on linguistic and on literary and cultural topics. Apart from articles it publishes reviews of new academic books or special issues of academic journals.

The journal is indexed in CEEOL, DOAJ, EBSCO, and ERIH PLUS.

AUC PHILOLOGICA, Vol 2016 No 1 (2016), 69–77

Language and “the Things That Are There”: Paul de Man’s “Poetic Attitudes” Applied to Post-WWII American Poetry

Stephan Delbos

announced: 15. 06. 2016


In his essay “Process and Poetry” (1956), Paul de Man identifies two types of “poetic attitude,” a poetry of process and a poetry of substance. Where de Man illuminates these attitudes by focusing on the content rather than the form of poems written by Baudelaire, Mallarmé, and Hölderlin, this essay will apply these attitudes to post-war American poets while expanding de Man’s consideration to include elements of prosody and their relationship to “process” and “substance.” The purpose of this essay is to argue for the applicability of these attitudes to American poets of the era and further to argue that such a critical approach offers fresh views of this work. There are clear examples of de Man’s attitudes in poetry written in the US since 1945, and these are reflected in the dominant critical model of this poetry as divided between avant-garde and academic styles. By examining the free verse poetry in Donald Allen’s anthology The New American Poetry (1960), and the formal poetry in Robert Pack, Louis Simpson and Donald Hall’s anthology New Poets of England and America (1957), this essay will identify poems that exemplify each of de Man’s attitudes, before taking into account the Language poetry of the 1970s as a development in American poetry of process. Finally, the essay shall identify a poet who, as de Man argues for Hölderlin, has found “accomplishment” by synthesizing process and substance, writing what have recently been termed “hybrid” poems. Jazyk a „věci, které existují“: De Manovy „poetické postoje“ vzhledem k americké poválečné poezii Paul de Man ve svém eseji Proces a poezie („Process and Poetry“, 1956) rozlišuje dva typy básnického postoje („poetic attitude“): poezii procesu a poezii podstaty. Tento esej aplikuje dané postoje na díla poválečných amerických básníků a rozšiřuje de Manovy úvahy o zahrnutí prvků prosodie a jejich vztahu k „procesu“ a „podstatě“. V poezii napsané v USA po roce 1945 nacházíme jasné příklady de Manových postojů. Ty se odráží i v převládajícím kritickém modelu poezie tohoto období, který ji vnímá jako rozdělenou na avantgardní a akademickou. Pomocí zkoumání poezie psané volným veršem v antologii Donalda Halla Nová americká poezie (The New American Poetry, 1960) a formální poezie v antologii Noví básníci Anglie a Ameriky (New Poets of England and America, 1957) Roberta Packa, Louise Simpsona a Donalda Halla identifikuje tento esej básně, které ilustrují de Manovy postoje, a poté se zamýšlí nad „Language poetry“ sedmdesátých let minulého století jako nad americkou poezií procesu.

keywords: Paul de Man; Post-war American Poetry; The New American Poetry

references (8)

1. Allen, Donald (1960) The New American Poetry, New York: Grove.

2. Bernstein, Charles (1992) A Poetics, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

3. Creeley, Robert (1970) A Quick Graph: Collected Notes & Essays, San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation.

4. de Man, Paul (1989) Critical Writings 1953–1978, ed. Lindsey Waters, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

5. Greene, Roland, et al. (eds.) (2012) The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

6. Hall, Donald, Pack, Robert, and Simpson, Louis (eds.) (1957) New Poets of England and America, New York: Meridian Books.

7. Silliman, Ron (ed.) (2007) In The American Tree, Orono, ME: The National Poetry Foundation.

8. Swenson, Cole and St. John, David (eds.) (2009) American Hybrid, New York: W.W. Norton.

published: 4 x per year
print price: 150 czk
ISSN: 0567-8269
E-ISSN: 2464-6830