Museums, Materials and Myths: H.D.’s Anthropoetics
By Lisa Simon, current Beinecke H.D. Fellow
Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 2:00
Room 38, Beinecke Library, 121 Wall Street
Free and open to the public
Modernist poet H.D. is best known as the perfect Imagist; this talk explores the way those “chiseled” and “gem-like” poems of her early career derive from a study of ancient artifacts and direct contact with the field of archaeology. H.D.’s artistic focus on the sociological vitality of the ancient past—a strain Lisa Simon calls H.D.’s “anthropoetics”—fundamentally shaped her emerging poetics and ambitions as an artist. What have been repeatedly read in H.D.’s work strictly as conventional literary allusions or biographical masks are also in fact allusions to material antiquity—to actual identifiable vases, friezes and historical sites. The duality is important; it signals H.D.’s attempt to break from a largely aesthetic literary tradition; it makes legible critically ignored or disparaged early poems, and illuminates unrecognized aspects of her feminist and pacifist critiques of dominant culture. By privileging materiality over literary invention, H.D.’s work operates within and alongside other Modernist discourses of surrealism and anthropology that, as cultural critic George Marcus has shown, work toward “destabilizing foundational knowledge” of cultures past and present. This multi-media presentation utilizes many images from both the Beinecke archives and from the British Museum.
Visiting H. D. Fellow Lisa Simon is an adjunct assistant professor at University of Montana, Missoula and is part of the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau. She works on a host of digital humanities projects, integrating the substance of a humanities education with innovative and accessible technologies.
Image: H. D. in Egypt
Lyn Hejinian, Poetry Reading
Tuesday, April 13, 4:00 pm
Beinecke Library, 121 Wall Street
Yale Collection of American Literature Reading Series
Poet, essayist, and translator, Lyn Hejinian is the author or co-author of numerous books of poetry, including The Fatalist (2003), The Beginner (2000), Happily (2000), Sight (with Leslie Scalapino, 1999), The Cold of Poetry (1994), The Cell (1992), My Life (1980), Writing Is an Aid to Memory (1978), and A Thought Is the Bride of What Thinking (1976). She is the author of a collection of essays, The Language of Inquiry (2000). She has been awarded grants and fellowships from the California Arts Council, the Poetry Fund, the Academy of American Poets, and the National Endowment of the Arts.
For more information about and examples of Lyn Hejinian’s work, visit the following sites:
Lyn Hejinian at the Electronic Poetry Center (EPC): http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/hejinian/
Lyn Hejinian at the Academy of American Poets : http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/396
Lyn Hejinian on PennSound: http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Hejinian.php
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