Quantum Poetics: Yeats, Pound, Eliot, and the Science of Modernism
Quantum Poetics is a study of the way Modernist poets appropriated scientific metaphors as part of a general search for the pre-verbal origins of poetry. In this wide-ranging and eloquent study, leading Modernist scholar Daniel Albright examines Yeats's, Eliot's, and Pound's search for the elementary particles from which poems were constructed. The poetic possibilities offered by developments in scientific discourse intrigued a Modernist movement intent on remapping the theory of poetry. Using models supplied by physicists, Yeats sought for the basic units of poetic force through his sequence A Vision and through his belief in and defense of the purity of symbols. Pound's whole critical vocabulary, Albright claims, aims at drawing art and science together in a search for poetic precision, the tiniest textual particles that held poems together. Through a series of patient and original readings, Quantum Poetics demonstrates how Eliot, Lawrence, and others formulated what Albright calls "a wave-theory of poetry", a mode of expression intended to create telepathic intimacy between writer and reader and to encourage a whole new way of thinking about poetry and science as two different aspects of the same reality. This comprehensive study from a leading scholar of Modernism is a fresh examination of the relationship between science and Modernist poetry.
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