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A Grand Essay on Perception: Lyn Hejinian and Leslie Scalapino’s Sight

  • Matthew Carbery
Chapter
Part of the Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics book series (MPCC)

Abstract

This chapter offers the first major reading of Sight (1999), a collaborative long poem written by Lyn Hejinian and Leslie Scalapino in the form of an exchange of letters, postcards and emails. Its title, Sight, indicates the overwhelming thematic concern of the work: vision and its role in perception. The epistolary form of composition is a constitutive aspect of the final text, establishing a back-and-forth which is constitutively intersubjective. Carbery frames the compositional process with reference to the philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. In considering the two poets together, the chapter necessarily devotes space to the differences as well as the similarities in their poetic methods, and in doing so offers an account of the other long poems which Hejinian and Scalapino were writing alongside Sight.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Carbery
    • 1
  1. 1.Plymouth UniversityPlymouthUK

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