Speaking the Estranged: Essays on the Work of George Oppen
Speaking the Estranged brings together the work by Michael Heller on the distinguished American Objectivist poet George Oppen (1908-1984), written over the past twenty years since Heller's first book on the Objectivists, Conviction's Net of Branches. These essays cover the range of Oppen's poetry and the ways it has been read at all stages of his career, from his overtly Objectivist roots through his abandonment of poetry for political activism in the thirties to his renewed poetic output after the 1950s. Heller's sustained and astute attention to Oppen, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1968, illuminates what many consider to be one of the most remarkable, complex and original bodies of work in twentieth-century literature.
Michael Heller is a poet, essayist and critic. Recent books include Exigent Futures: New and Selected Poems, Uncertain Poetries, a collection of his essays, and Earth and Cave, a memoir of Spain in the 60s. Among his many awards are the Di Castagnola Prize of the Poetry Society of America and grants from the National Endowment, NYFA and The Fund for Poetry.
Table of contents
Utopocalyptic Moments: Objectivists in the Thirties
“Writing Occurs”: Reflections on Oppen, Zukofsky and Objectivist Poetics
A Mimetics of Humanity: Reading Oppen’s Of Being Numerous
“Knowledge Is Loneliness Turning”: Oppen’s Going Down Middle-Voice
Oppen, Stevens, Wittgenstein: Reflections on the Lyrical and the Philosophical
Speaking the Estranged: Word and Poetics in Oppen’s Poetry
A Note on Oppen’s Selected Letters
“Towards the Incomplete Work”: An Addendum on Oppen’s Daybooks
The Voice of the Impersonal: Oppen and Celan
Encountering Oppen: A Memoir