Sunday, May 06, 2007

A tidbit on Reznikoff and Objectivism

from LS Dembo's The Monological Jew:

"Reznikoff, for instance, cites a Chinese text of the eleventh century in which it is argued that "Poetry presents the thing in order to convey the feeling. It should be precise abvout the thing and reticent about the feeling." This, Reznikoff tells us, was a very accurate expression of what the Objectivists were trying to do. Later he elaborated on the term, at the same time describing the poetics of Testimony, a two-volume survey of the everyday cruelties of American Life: by "objectivist I suppose a writer may be meant who does not write directly about his feelings but about what he sees and hears; who is restricted almost to the testimony of a witness in a court of law; and who expresses his feelings indirectly by the selection of his subject matter" (117).

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