Melville, Whitman, and metonymy: towards a new poetics of community

Claviez, Thomas (2019). Melville, Whitman, and metonymy: towards a new poetics of community. Textual Practice, 33(10), pp. 1767-1785. Taylor and Francis 10.1080/0950236X.2019.1665927

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Melville’s enigmatic short story ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener’, has puzzled critics and readers alike ever since its publication in 1853. It has, however, recently received an even more puzzling amount of critical attention by the likes of Gilles Deleuze, Giorgio Agamben, Slavoj Žižek, and Jacques Rancière. The essay argues that the approaches of the latter have to be considered in the light of what can be termed a ‘metonymic poetics of community’. Read in this way, the hermetic figure of the copyist can be juxtaposed to Walt Whitman’s notorious lists, as that which cannot be integrated into the omnivorous, imperial I/eye of the poet laureate of American democracy; as that which defies being sublated into a metaphoric conception of community.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > Literary Theory

UniBE Contributor:

Claviez, Thomas

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 190 Modern western philosophy
400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures

ISSN:

0950-236X

Publisher:

Taylor and Francis

Language:

English

Submitter:

Thomas Claviez

Date Deposited:

25 Nov 2019 16:31

Last Modified:

25 Nov 2019 17:18

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/0950236X.2019.1665927

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.135619

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/135619

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