Criminal Ingenuity: Moore, Cornell, Ashbery, and the by Ellen Levy

By Ellen Levy

Poetry was once declining/ portray advancing/ we have been complaining/ it was once '50, recalled poet Frank O'Hara in 1957. legal Ingenuity strains a chain of associated moments within the background of this move of cultural energy from the sector of the note to that of the picture. Ellen Levy explores the recent York literary and paintings worlds within the years that bracket O'Hara's lament via shut readings of the works and careers of poets Marianne Moore and John Ashbery and assemblage artist Joseph Cornell. during those readings, Levy discusses such themes because the American debates round surrealism, the functionality of the "token girl" in creative canons, and the position of the recent York urban Ballet within the improvement of mid-century modernism, and situates her significant figures when it comes to such colleagues and contemporaries as O'Hara, T. S. Eliot, Clement Greenberg, Walter Benjamin, and Lincoln Kirstein.Moore, Cornell, and Ashbery are hooked up by means of acquaintance and affinity-and primarily, through the ownership of what Moore calls "criminal ingenuity," a expertise for situating themselves at the fault traces that fissure the nation-states of paintings, sexuality, and politics. As we ponder their lives and works, Levy exhibits, the doubtless really expert query of the resource and that means of the fight for energy among artwork varieties inexorably opens out to broader questions on social and inventive associations and forces: the academy and the museum, professionalism and the marketplace, and that establishment of associations, marriage.

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Extra resources for Criminal Ingenuity: Moore, Cornell, Ashbery, and the Struggle Between the Arts (Modernist Literature and Culture)

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The institution’s need to affirm its autonomy thus came to converge with the literary modernist’s need for an institutional base from which to reestablish his authority. Like Hammer, who invokes the special power of Eliot’s “tradition,” McDonald portrays this convergence as almost uncanny. ”39 In other words, much as the university served as the practical guarantee of the professions’ autonomy, so the humanities might serve as the ideological guarantee of the university’s autonomy. In the real institution built on Eliot’s imaginary one, poetry became the privileged exemplum of the humanities’ purity.

As the well-known story goes, the appointed guardians of this purity were the New Critics, through whose reading practices the poem, or at least a certain type of lyric poem, was recast as an inwardturning, tightly bounded object. ”40 Such a backward-looking, quasi-religious conception of the professional’s role in modernity is, again, highly partial.  . ”41 In other words, because humanist academics operate at a greater distance from the marketplace than do other professionals, they may help us to distinguish between the dual imperatives that drive the culture of professionalism, the better to map the points of conflict between them.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. The Collected Essays and Criticism. Vol. 2, Arrogant Purpose, 1945– 1949. The Collected Essays and Criticism. Vol. 3, Affirmations and Refusals, 1950–1956. The Collected Essays and Criticism. Vol. 4, Modernism with a Vengeance, 1957–1969. xxxi xxxii ABBREVIATIONS WORKS BY MARIANNE MOORE BMM MMCP CPr Becoming Marianne Moore: The Early Poems, 1907–1924. Ed. Robin G. Schulze. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002. Complete Poems. New York: Macmillan, 1981.

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