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American Literature's Aesthetic Dimensions$
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Cindy Weinstein and Christopher Looby

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156172

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156172.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 22 June 2021

Stephen Crane’s Refrain

Stephen Crane’s Refrain

Chapter:
(p.73) [3] Stephen Crane’s Refrain
Source:
American Literature's Aesthetic Dimensions
Author(s):

Max Cavitch

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231156172.003.0003

This chapter calls to account the sentiment of liberated and liberating free-verse artistry through a reading of Stephen Crane's poetry that combines formal analysis (a counting or measurement) and ethical reckoning (a characterization of the lyric subject). More simply put, it is an effort to interpret, in the work of a very untraditional poet, his use of a very traditional poetic device—the refrain—to measure or mark out a timely sense of a depersonalized aesthetics. Timely, that is, not in terms of present critical anxieties about the aesthetic, but rather in terms of a late-nineteenth-century preoccupation, in literature, science, philosophy, and beyond, with the phenomenon of repetition, which is, of course, the precondition for any type of measurement and for any concept of the personal.

Keywords:   Stephen Crane, poets, poetry, formal analysis, ethical reckoning, depersonalized aesthetics, repetition, free verse

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