EPISTEMOLOGICAL MODELS SHARED BY AMERICAN PROJECTIVIST POETRY AND QUANTUM PHYSICS.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/187927
Title:
EPISTEMOLOGICAL MODELS SHARED BY AMERICAN PROJECTIVIST POETRY AND QUANTUM PHYSICS.
Author:
CARTER, STEVEN MICHAEL.
Issue Date:
1985
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The American Projectivist verse of Jack Spicer, Charles Olson, and Robert Duncan contains within its poetics many epistemological assumptions shared by quantum physics. These assumptions exist in three broad categories: perception, process, and wholeness. In physics, the epistemology of perception has been profoundly altered by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Relation, which creates a symbiotic relationship between the observer and the observed. At least one photon of light is necessary to observe an electron; one photon is sufficient to alter the electron's momentum or position; therefore, a physicist affects an electron's "fate" in the act of observing it. Similarly, in Projectivist poetics, the perceptions of the reader are often enlisted to help "compose" the poem which is offered to him in "pieces," or, as in Robert Duncan's poetry especially, in self-reflexive segments. By "self-reflexive," we further mean that the Projectivist poem often "mirrors itself" as an electron "mirrors itself" as wave or as particle, while it is paradoxically both. A Projectivist poem may pause halfway through and "unravel" itself, i.e., study its own etymology. The reader thus must participate in "putting the poem back together," as the physicist participates in the phenomena he observes. The second epistemological model in physics and poetry stresses becoming, rather than being. Matter at the subatomic level has been defined as energy-in-flux. Similarly, the Projectivist poems of Charles Olson especially often exist as "fields" with no syntactical beginnings or endings. Moreover, the "I" of the Maximus Poems is often seen in a perpetual process of becoming the world of spacetime in the poems, creating a system similar to the being-and-becoming model of particle-and-field in quantum mechanics. Third, wholeness is a premise governing poetry and physics separately and together. Jack Spicer's thematics blend matter and consciousness, as "love and death matter/Matter as wave and particle." Similarly, Robert Duncan's poetics describes a "dancing organization between personal and cosmic identity." In physics, wholeness is seen primarily in an "implicate order" which attempts to overturn the old paradigms of fragmentation and connect matter and consciousness, including language, as interrelated systems of information.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Quantum theory in literature.; Spicer, Jack -- Criticism and interpretation.; Olson, Charles, 1910-1970 -- Criticism and interpretation.; Duncan, Robert Edward, 1919- -- Criticism and interpretation.; American poetry -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
English; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
O'Donnell, Patrick
Committee Chair:
O'Donnell, Patrick

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleEPISTEMOLOGICAL MODELS SHARED BY AMERICAN PROJECTIVIST POETRY AND QUANTUM PHYSICS.en_US
dc.creatorCARTER, STEVEN MICHAEL.en_US
dc.contributor.authorCARTER, STEVEN MICHAEL.en_US
dc.date.issued1985en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe American Projectivist verse of Jack Spicer, Charles Olson, and Robert Duncan contains within its poetics many epistemological assumptions shared by quantum physics. These assumptions exist in three broad categories: perception, process, and wholeness. In physics, the epistemology of perception has been profoundly altered by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Relation, which creates a symbiotic relationship between the observer and the observed. At least one photon of light is necessary to observe an electron; one photon is sufficient to alter the electron's momentum or position; therefore, a physicist affects an electron's "fate" in the act of observing it. Similarly, in Projectivist poetics, the perceptions of the reader are often enlisted to help "compose" the poem which is offered to him in "pieces," or, as in Robert Duncan's poetry especially, in self-reflexive segments. By "self-reflexive," we further mean that the Projectivist poem often "mirrors itself" as an electron "mirrors itself" as wave or as particle, while it is paradoxically both. A Projectivist poem may pause halfway through and "unravel" itself, i.e., study its own etymology. The reader thus must participate in "putting the poem back together," as the physicist participates in the phenomena he observes. The second epistemological model in physics and poetry stresses becoming, rather than being. Matter at the subatomic level has been defined as energy-in-flux. Similarly, the Projectivist poems of Charles Olson especially often exist as "fields" with no syntactical beginnings or endings. Moreover, the "I" of the Maximus Poems is often seen in a perpetual process of becoming the world of spacetime in the poems, creating a system similar to the being-and-becoming model of particle-and-field in quantum mechanics. Third, wholeness is a premise governing poetry and physics separately and together. Jack Spicer's thematics blend matter and consciousness, as "love and death matter/Matter as wave and particle." Similarly, Robert Duncan's poetics describes a "dancing organization between personal and cosmic identity." In physics, wholeness is seen primarily in an "implicate order" which attempts to overturn the old paradigms of fragmentation and connect matter and consciousness, including language, as interrelated systems of information.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectQuantum theory in literature.en_US
dc.subjectSpicer, Jack -- Criticism and interpretation.en_US
dc.subjectOlson, Charles, 1910-1970 -- Criticism and interpretation.en_US
dc.subjectDuncan, Robert Edward, 1919- -- Criticism and interpretation.en_US
dc.subjectAmerican poetry -- 20th century -- History and criticism.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorO'Donnell, Patricken_US
dc.contributor.chairO'Donnell, Patricken_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRobinson, Cecilen_US
dc.identifier.proquest8512678en_US
dc.identifier.oclc693595050en_US
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