Approaching Authority: Transpersonal Gestures in the Poetry of Yeats, Eliot, and Williams

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Bucknell University Press, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 236 pages
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This study, using the example of Yeats, Eliot, and Williams, examines the principal gestures of Modernist poetic speakers attempting to identify, mediate, and project cultural authority. To effect this mediation, the poetic speakers must engage in "transpersonality"; by association with the objects of presences in the poem, they must translate their finite egos into mediating voices detached from the concerns of unique selfhood. However, complete transpersonality brings silence: the fact of utterance presupposes a unique perspective, never the totality of perspectives that an atemporal authority possesses. So, rather than the speaker's elevation to a position of authority, the necessary result of the transpersonality is instead that the speaker approach authority in calculated acts of mystification.

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