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A Common StrangenessContemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature$
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Jacob Edmond

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242597

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242597.001.0001

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Charles Bernstein and Broken English

Charles Bernstein and Broken English

(p.164) Chapter Six Charles Bernstein and Broken English
A Common Strangeness

Jacob Edmond

Fordham University Press

Through the writings of US poet Charles Bernstein, this chapter examines the tension between affective immediacy and distancing artifice in attempts to read and write our era of globalization. From his late–Cold War essays on Ezra Pound and his post–Cold War writing on the “Poetics of the Americas” to his post-9/11 response to the invasion of Iraq in Girly Man and World on Fire, Bernstein highlights the dichotomy between aesthetic and ideological approaches to contemporary literature and culture, inviting both ideologically suspicious and defen¬sively theological readings of his work. He also exemplifies the related problem of the loss of affect in the distant reading prac¬tices that a global perspective seems to entail. In the tension between ideology and theology, artifice and affect, the chapter locates the implicated position of poem, writer, and critic within the global circulation of capital and the uneven structures of modernity.

Keywords:   Charles Bernstein, globalization, suspicious reading, affect, Ezra Pound, Cold War, September 11, 2001, Iraq War

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