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Two Recommendations: The Poetry of George Oppen and Larry Eigner

(Or, The Peculiarities of the Making of Cross-Cultural Literary History)

What I’m here today to do is to make recommendations and to give advice. I know that what I’m doing is a little bit (if not a lot) presumptuous and ridiculous, and that my talk, to some degree, mirrors consciously and unconsciously the very processes that I am talking about, particularly the idiosyncratic nature of the creation of literary historical representations in a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic domain.  Of course, as someone who has visited China once before, in 1993, for a month, in association with the publication of a bilingual collection of poetry and essays, and who neither speaks nor reads Chinese, what do I know?  Truly, very little.  In truth, my sense of “the Chinese reader” or of students and professors in China reading American poetry is hazy, imaginary, ill-informed, and peculiarly partial.

read pdf of full article:  Lazer-Hank_Wuhan_2013_on-Oppen-Eigner

A keynote talk that I gave at The 2nd Convention of the Chinese/American Association for Poetry and Poetics, June 8, 2013, in Wuhan, China at Central China Normal University. The essay (under a slightly different title: “The Peculiarities of the Making of Cross-Cultural Literary History: Poetry of George Oppen and Larry Eigner”) appears in
Foreign Language Studies (Wuhan, China), Vol. 35, No. 5 (October 2013): pp. 9-22.