Cover of Frederick Garber: Repositionings

Frederick Garber Repositionings

Readings of Contemporary Poetry, Photography, and Performance Art

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Penn State Press










The broad reconsideration of the nature of the self that has characterized our thinking for decades has affected not only our judgments of what we are, but also the shapes of what we make. The history of the lyric from the middle of the eighteenth century reveals a classic mode of thinking about these issues. A sense of the wholeness and coherence of the self grounds our understanding of the nature of the lyric, seen as the purest expression of just such a self. With the decline of that sense of coherence comes not only an attack upon the traditional understanding of the lyric but also suggestions that other modes of art, especially photography and performance, may speak more cogently to our understandings of ourselves. In Repositionings Frederick Garber examines recent readings of the lyric in proposing that performance art and photography present alternatives to traditional lyrical modes. Garber examines, among others, the work of Mark Strand, Gerald Stern, Jerome Rothenberg, David Antin, Carolee Schneemann, Steve McCaffrey, Cindy Sherman, and Barbara Kruger. In probing the ways in which the changed relations of subjectivity and genre have shifted earlier readings of the hierarchies of the arts, he brings an interdisciplinary perspective to the continuing debates on the nature and shape of the self.

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