Anecdote of the Jar Introduction In A Nutshell This poem is basically about the relationship between an everyday, commercial jar and the wilderness surrounding it. Well… not so fast.
On "Anecdote of the Jar" Pat Righelato Wallace Stevens is, at times, the exemplary figure of the austere Modernist, shorn of Transcendental excess, wary of its expansionist programme for consciousness: The poem is, of course, an ironic critique of the Romantic yearning for the creative interfusion of consciousness and nature as the basis of art.
The genteel tradition, of which Emerson was the principal representative, might seem to have existed in rarefied seclusion from the commercial energies of the age, but it underwrote the expansionist energy of the era by transforming its power into an aesthetic of consciousness.
The charming landscape which I saw this morning is indubitably made up of some twenty or thirty farms. Miller owns this field, Locke that, and Manning the woodland beyond.
But none of them owns the landscape. There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing: I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty.
Consciousness is prehensile and invasive, its transports masking its annexations. From Righelato, Pat, "Wallace Stevens. Clive Bloom and Brian Docherty. The "readymade" described herein is defined as the urinal that Marchel Duchamp upended and signed as "R.
Mutt" and submitted to the Arsenal Show as "Fountain by R. In the creation of a readymade, emphasis is thrown upon the object itself, placed in a strange environment and divorced from its practical function, so that it is viewed solely as a "thing" without relation to its use.
As Duchamp put it, "functionalism was obliterated by the fact that I took it out of the earth and onto the planet of aesthetics. To place a jar on a hill in Tennessee, and to place a porcelain urinal on its side atop a pedestal, are both ambiguous as well as strange gestures. In each case the nature of the object is also ambiguous: Is it to be considered a machine-made object, without aesthetic value in itself, an instance of anti-art?
Or is it, on the other hand, to be considered a worthy example of utilitarian design? It is the nature of the readymade to inspire these questions without resolving them.
If we are willing to consider "Anecdote of a Jar" as a readymade, then Roy Harvey Pearce may well have discovered the particular mass-produced object Stevens had in mind when he wrote the poem [see photo of "Dominion" canning jar].
This fruit jar was in use in Tennessee in when Stevens traveled there prior to writing "Anecdote of a Jar. And this meditation resulted in one of his most successful and popular poems. Yale U P, Frank Lentricchia Formalists must all sooner or later come to the grievous conclusion about "Anecdote of the Jar" that the aged Ezra Pound came to about his Cantos: And things only get worse: The original structural opposition of "jar" and "wilderness," an opposition of nouns as substances, modulates into an opposition of verbs or actions: Who is responsible for this power?
Certainly not "I"; the jar did it. Structuralists, by definition, cannot attend to non-repeatable textures of voice; structuralists, by definition, are tone-deaf.
So what are we to make of the reiterated sounds of jar music, in the major key of "round"? A whole lot of "round" for such a short poem: The jar is into every damn thing.
Donald Gutierrez Being placed on top of a hill gives the jar an apex of human purpose through nature. But the jar asserts authority even more through the implied design of its own rotundity.
It is the design of a created object embodying a human, cultural purpose. Further, the roundness is the symbolic design of purpose placed in nature, which in itself lacks purpose or order. All the natural disorderliness of the wilderness acquires a purposive spatial character through "centering," and is given a figurative order in the way "rounded" and rounding human purpose shapes significance into the raw matter of earthly phenomena.
Accordingly, human circularity, human centralization, civilizes "wilderness," not only the wild, that is, but chaos, nullity, meaninglessness, by providing it structure.This poem, "Anecdote of the Jar," was in his very first book, Harmonium, which was not published until , when Stevens was already 44 years old.
After Harmonium, though, the flood gates opened, and Stevens continued to write and publish until his death, some thirty years later. Wallace stevens anecdote of the jar analysis essay.
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Wallace Stevens. The Snow Man. Of the January sun; and not to think Of any misery in the sound of the wind, In the sound of a few leaves, Which is the sound of the land Full of the same wind That is blowing the same bare place Anecdote of the Jar.
I PLACED a jar . Anecdote of the Jar is an enigmatic poem which still baffles readers and is open to many various interpretations. It has a slightly surreal, almost playful feel which is so typical of Wallace Stevens, who liked nothing better than to have his poetry resist the intelligence.
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