Ben Hickman
Search for other papers by Ben Hickman in
Current site
Google Scholar
Death in life
The past in ‘As the Dead Prey Upon Us’
in Contemporary Olson
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

By the mid-1950s Charles Olson had become an influential pedagogue in a burgeoning poetical counterculture. 'As the Dead Prey Upon Us', a 1956 poem that might be seen as the culmination of Olson's Black Mountain endeavours, is his most comprehensive articulation of this new poetics of history. Olson's key terminological distinction in this poetics is between life and death. One implication of the universalising tendency is that 'As the Dead Prey Upon Us' should properly be read alongside Olson's 'special view of history' as a whole. The French Maoist philosopher Alain Badiou can help to translate some of Olson's vague assertions regarding man and action, into the vocabulary of 'social action' that Olson had announced as a poetic concern at the very start of his career. Badiou's subject is tied up with his theory of the Event, which closely echoes Olson's 'act' as radically discontinuous.

  • Collapse
  • Expand


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 125 37 21
Full Text Views 16 0 0
PDF Downloads 19 2 0