ECU Libraries Catalog

The householders : Robert Duncan and Jess / Tara McDowell.

Author/creator McDowell, Tara author.
Format Book and Print
Publication Info Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, [2019]
Descriptionxi, 232 pages ; 24 cm
Subject(s)
Contents Introduction: threads that bind -- The householders -- From the gate to the field -- Unfinished work: the H.D. book and Narkissos -- If all the world were paper: salvage and witnessing in the atomic age -- Seven deadly virtues (a coda).
Abstract "The Householders: Robert Duncan and Jess is a book-length study of the poet Robert Duncan (1919-88) and the artist Jess (1923-2004), examining the ways in which the couple negotiated issues of collaboration, nourishment, belonging, and power within the physical and conceptual household they shared as well a reading of the creative work they undertook from 1951 until 1980. The book's methodology is to think and write Jess and Duncan with and against each other. Each chapter unspools from a specific aspect of their life and work, including: (1) the household of two men; (2) their collaboration via the Caesar's Gate; (3) the unfinished works made in tandem by each man (Jess's Narkissos and Duncan's The H.D. Book); (4) in the face of postwar catastrophes (the atomic bomb and the Vietnam War), the generative nature of their respective origin myths and self-generated genealogies as a form of world-building; (5) coda that that focuses on their lived experience and their attempt to imagine an other world for our contemporary moment. The book reads the couple together closely, and is interdisciplinary in the truest sense of the term as well as extremely intimate. It toggles between close readings of Jess's artworks and Duncan's prose and poems and a narrative of their shared life, woven together with extensive archival research, interviews with more than a dozen of their intimates, and discussion of recent queer and feminist theory. Their lives and their lived difference resonate with today's climate of regressive politics, authoritarianism, and surveillance. They model forms of world-building and world-imagining--via salvage, witnessing, and care for one another--that are vital for contemporary life. Lastly, it's a love story"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references and index.
Genre/formBiography.
Genre/formCriticism, interpretation, etc.
LCCN 2018053962
ISBN9780262042710 hardcover alkaline paper
ISBN0262042711 hardcover alkaline paper

Available Items

Library Location Call Number Status Item Actions
Joyner General Stacks PS3507 .U629 Z78 2019 ✔ Available Place Hold

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