Savage Sight/Constructed Noise

Poetic Adaptations of Painterly Techniques in the French and American Avant-Gardes

By David LeHardy Sweet

Savage Sight/Constructed Noise

320 pp., 6 x 9

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9281-7
    Published: December 2003

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Romance Studies

This book examines poetic adaptations of painterly techniques in works by writers such as Guillaume Apollinaire, Pierre Reverdy, André Breton, Frank O'Hara, and John Ashbery--all chosen for the experimentalism of their poetry as well as for the quality of their critical writings on art. Close attention is paid to essays on painters identified with Cubism, Futurism, and Dada-Surrealism in France and with Abstract Expressionism and New Realism in the United States.

Selected poems are examined in light of the critical essays and are taken either as illustrations of a new plastic poetic or as novel hybrids of plastic and literary strategies. Although the parallels between modern poetry and painting go beyond avant-garde techniques, this book emphasizes such innovations as collage, chance operations, and automatism to demonstrate the shift in aesthetic attention from finished products to creative processes.

About the Author

David LeHardy Sweet is Assistant Professor of literature in the Department of English & Comparative Literature at The American University in Cairo.
For more information about David LeHardy Sweet, visit the Author Page.