By Lyn Hejinian
Lyn Hejinian is one of the such a lot widespread of latest American poets. Her autobiographical poem My existence, a best-selling publication of leading edge American poetry, has garnered accolades and fanatics inside and out academia. The Language of Inquiry is a entire and beautifully readable selection of her essays, and its e-book provides to be a tremendous occasion for American literary tradition. right here, Hejinian brings jointly twenty essays written over a span of just about twenty-five years. Like some of the Language Poets with whom she has been linked because the mid-1970s, Hejinian turns to language as a social house, a website of either philosophical inquiry and political address.
Central to those essays are the topics of time and data, realization and conception. Hejinian's pursuits disguise a variety of texts and figures. well-liked between them are Sir Francis Bacon and Enlightenment-era explorers; Faust and Sheherazade; Viktor Shklovsky and Russian formalism; William James, Hannah Arendt, and Martin Heidegger. yet probably an important literary presence within the essays is Gertrude Stein; the quantity contains Hejinian's influential "Two Stein Talks," in addition to more moderen essays on Stein's writings.
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Lyn Hejinian is without doubt one of the such a lot widespread of up to date American poets. Her autobiographical poem My existence, a best-selling booklet of leading edge American poetry, has garnered accolades and fanatics inside and out academia. The Language of Inquiry is a accomplished and fantastically readable selection of her essays, and its booklet can provide to be an incredible occasion for American literary tradition.
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Additional info for The Language of Inquiry
It is impossible to discover any string or bundle of words that is entirely free of possible narrative or psychological content. Moreover, though the “story” and “tone” of such works may be interpreted differently by different readers, nonetheless the readings differ within deﬁnite limits. While word strings are permissive, they do not license a free-for-all. Writing develops subjects that mean the words we have for them. Even words in storage, in the dictionary, seem frenetic with activity, as each individual entry attracts to itself other words as deﬁnition, example, and ampliﬁcation.
These communities do not, as such, preexist the solo sailing or Who Is Speaking? / 35 the hermit’s retreat. In a profound sense, the person setting forth alone to sail or entering his or her hermit’s cave, in doing so summons into existence the community in which to do so makes sense— even if, as will sometimes be the case, it is not a present but a past (though not, strictly speaking, preexisting) or future community, consisting of those whose past or future capacity to understand, that is being invoked.
We can say that a “closed text” is one in which all the elements of the work are directed toward a single reading of it. Each element conﬁrms that reading and delivers The Rejection of Closure / 43 the text from any lurking ambiguity. In the “open text,” meanwhile, all the elements of the work are maximally excited; here it is because ideas and things exceed (without deserting) argument that they have taken into the dimension of the work. Though they may be different in different texts, depending on other elements in the work and by all means on the intention of the writer, it is not hard to discover devices—structural devices—that may serve to “open” a poetic text.
The Language of Inquiry by Lyn Hejinian