Giorgio Agamben



John Ashbery’s Humane Abstractions

JAIn the context of John Ashbery’s long career it is possible to a claim a particular significance for that book. Published in 1970, it was the first volume he wrote after re-settling in the United States in 1965, having lived in Paris for the best part of a decade. It was also the book in which he arrived at a kind of poem – ‘Soonest Mended’ is an example, but so are several others, ‘Evening in the Country’, say, or ‘The Bungalows’ – that established a way of configuring voice, narrative trajectory, human relations and cultural reference that would become recognisable as characteristically Ashberyan.

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The Huntsman of the Rubáiyat: J H Prynne and Peter Henry Lepus Go to Abu Ghraib

Minor cultures are not only represented by poetry written in response to state violence. With each such poetic utterance, they are maintained as agential entities. Michael Richardson, in his forthcoming book, Gestures of Testimony: Torture, Trauma, and Affect in Literature (Bloomsbury, 2016) tracks various examples of these linguistic productions, investigating in part ‘how poetry can resist power even from within almost complete subjection.’

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Fiona Hile Reviews Lionel Fogarty

Lionel G. Fogarty is an indigenous Australian poet who is recognised for the excavation of a poetic space in which, as Michael Brennan has written, ‘his community and culture is recuperated and asserted’ whilst ‘dominant discourses, both political and poetic’ are subverted and destabilised. These qualities make Fogarty’s work difficult to review in a context in which the status of indigenous literature remains, for some institutions at least, seemingly unapproachable.

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