Lyric Resilience: The Subject and its Questions
Primary Area / Secondary Area
Comparative Literature / World Literatures (non-European Languages)
Sneha Chowdhury (Brown University)
Mantra Mukim (University of Warwick)
In his famous essay 'On Lyric Poetry and Society', Adorno argues that the lyric subject is conditioned by a “collective undercurrent” that makes it “more than a mere subject” and prevents poetic language from being fully individuated. It is a poetic language that defines the subjective resilience once championed by Hegel and Mill by jettisoning the “mere” subject. Be that as it may, lyric remains a reparative tool for the fractured subject of modernity. One of the objectives of this seminar is to explore in what ways this subjective resilience is complicated in and by the lyric. If Adorno’s “collective undercurrent” is one way, what are some other ways? For instance, one of the recurrent questions of Edmond Jabès' poetry is “May I come in? It is getting dark around my soul.” These questions are invoked not only to defer and suspend answers, but to replace them. These questions demand an impossible answer, an answer which Jabès' work does not or cannot provide. This seminar will foster discussions on how specific questions and the general question-form enter the global circuits of poetry where these questions become the dominant mood and method of complicating and enacting resilience. This seminar aims to demonstrate how lyric resilience is inextricably tied with the form and politics of the question—the struggles of framing it, using it prosodically, and attending to its immense interruptive force.
This seminar aims to explore how subjective resilience is complicated in lyric poetry. It will foster discussions on how the general question form becomes the dominant mood and method of complicating and enacting resilience, and demonstrate how lyric resilience is inextricably tied with the form and politics of the question.
Lyric Poetry and the Question of the “I”
Lyric traditions in the Global South
Resilience and Vulnerability in Poetics
The Subject and its Others
Question Form in Literary Studies
Weak Theory of Modernism
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