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The Language of Inquiry

Lyn Hejinian, "The Language of Inquiry"
English | 2000 | ISBN: 0520217004, 0520216997 | 391 pages | PDF | 1.4 MB

Lyn Hejinian is among the most prominent of contemporary American poets. Her autobiographical poem My Life, a best-selling book of innovative American poetry, has garnered accolades and fans inside and outside academia. is a comprehensive and wonderfully readable collection of her essays, and its publication promises to be an important event for American literary culture. Here, Hejinian brings together twenty essays written over a span of almost twenty-five years. Like many of the Language Poets with whom she has been associated since the mid-1970s, Hejinian turns to language as a social space, a site of both philosophical inquiry and political address.

Central to these essays are the themes of time and knowledge, consciousness and perception. Hejinian's interests cover a range of texts and figures. Prominent among them are Sir Francis Bacon and Enlightenment-era explorers; Faust and Sheherazade; Viktor Shklovsky and Russian formalism; William James, Hannah Arendt, and Martin Heidegger. But perhaps the most important literary presence in the essays is Gertrude Stein; the volume includes Hejinian's influential "Two Stein Talks," as well as two more recent essays on Stein's writings.

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Tags: Language, Inquiry

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