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Modern Literature Commons

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SelectedWorks

American Literature

Poetry

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

The Supreme Fiction: Fiction Or Fact?, Gregory Brazeal Jan 2007

The Supreme Fiction: Fiction Or Fact?, Gregory Brazeal

Gregory Brazeal

The article makes a case for giving up the quest to identify Wallace Stevens’ “supreme fiction.” The poet hoped to usher in the creation of an idea that would serve as a fictive replacement for the idea of God, known to be fictive but willfully believed. His hope has remained unfulfilled. By the poet’s own explicit standards, the supreme fiction does not appear in any of his poems, nor in his poetry as a whole, nor in poetry in general. The very idea of a supreme fiction may depend, at least in part, upon a problematic conception of belief ...


Wallace Stevens' Philosophical Evasions, Gregory Brazeal Jan 2007

Wallace Stevens' Philosophical Evasions, Gregory Brazeal

Gregory Brazeal

How could thought ever benefit from being formed in poetic language rather than philosophical prose? This essay attempts to clarify a single, relatively narrow respect in which poetry can perform philosophical work that prose, as such, cannot: the evasion of philosophical dogmatism through Stevensian qualification. What Helen Vendler in an early essay calls Stevens’ “qualified assertions,” and what Marjorie Perloff calls Stevens’ “ironic modes," are the basic techniques of Wallace Stevens' anti-dogmatic art.