The Hatred of Speech and the Poetics of Silence

Gould, Thomas (2022) The Hatred of Speech and the Poetics of Silence. In: Silence and its Derivatives. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 199-213.

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Abstract

In this chapter, I look at the case study of the contemporary poet Robert Grenier, in addition to a constellation of influences, especially Charles Olson and Larry Eigner, to examine how John Cage’s conception of silence was modified by US poets associated with the Language writing movement. I will return, in particular, to Grenier’s 1971 essay “On Speech”, widely regarded as one of the most important theoretical statements of its milieu. In that essay, Grenier expresses a hatred of speech—where speech is understood both as an arrogation of the metaphysics of the subject, and as the grounding of meaning in intersubjective communication. This hatred of speech, I argue, inevitably leads Grenier to a graphic practice that intends to disrupt the readability of the poem, preventing it from being read-out-loud. I explore how this mode of silent reception—which is based on a slow, contemplative reading—disrupts the boundary between literature and art, reading and seeing, and recasts poetry as an art of silence as a notation of experience, rather than an art of sound as a notation of speech.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty \ School:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2022 15:30
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 23:46
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/89156
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-06523-1_10

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