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Invisible Terrain – John Ashbery and the Aesthetics of Nature - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Invisible Terrain: John Ashbery and the Aesthetics of Nature

Stephen J. Ross

Abstract

In his debut collection, Some Trees (1956), John Ashbery poses a question that resonates across his oeuvre and much modern art: “How could he explain to them his prayer / that nature, not art, might usurp the canvas?” When Ashbery asks this strange question, he joins a host of transatlantic avant-gardists—from the Dadaists to the 1960s neo-avant-gardists and beyond—who have dreamed the paradoxical dream of turning art into nature. Invisible Terrain examines Ashbery’s poetic mediation of this fantasy, reading his work alongside an array of practitioners, from Wordsworth to Warhol, as an exempla ... More

Keywords: American poetry, British poetry, French poetry, visual art, nature poetry, nature, aesthetics, transparency, anti-mimesis, stream-of-consciousness, pastoral, lyric subject, avant-garde, climate change, queer poetics, camp, “bad” poetry

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198798385
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198798385.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stephen J. Ross, author
Concordia University