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Art's UndoingIn the Wake of a Radical Aestheticism$
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Forest Pyle

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823251117

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823251117.001.0001

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What the Zeros Taught

What the Zeros Taught

Emily Dickinson, Event-Machine

(p.103) (p.104) (p.105) Three What the Zeros Taught
Art's Undoing

Forest Pyle

Fordham University Press

This chapter analyzes the radical aestheticism in Dickinson’s poetry. It argues that Dickinson’s work demonstrates an intense compression in which meaningful dramatic contexts are sheared away by “a negative harvesting” that ultimately leaves us to confront the radicalization of art produced by the poems. The “zeroing” built into the “event-machinery” of her poetics is manifested in the singular and sustained capacity of the poetry’s beginnings to “clear out,” to produce a depopulated and decontextualized space. When this zeroing fixes upon and dwells in the peculiar nature of the aesthetic experience, the conditions are created for Dickinson’s version of radical aestheticism.

Keywords:   poems, poetry, radical aestheticism, negative harvesting, radicalization

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