Modernism, Medicine and William Carlos Williams - Oklahoma Project for Discourse and Theory No. 1 (Paperback)
  • Modernism, Medicine and William Carlos Williams - Oklahoma Project for Discourse and Theory No. 1 (Paperback)
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Modernism, Medicine and William Carlos Williams - Oklahoma Project for Discourse and Theory No. 1 (Paperback)

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£19.95
Paperback 208 Pages / Published: 01/03/1995
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Of all the modernist poets, William Carlos Williams is unique in that his training as a physician and his lifetime of medical practice made him especially conversant in the language of medical science, at a time when medical education was being reformed along more scientific lines and the physician's everyday experience was being transformed by technological innovations. Using Williams's poetry as a focal point, T. Hugh Crawford examines the relations between the rise of modernism and the history of medical science, medical education in America, and the cultural authority of scientific discourse. The main argument of Modernism, Medicine, and William Carlos Williams is that clarity and cleanliness function as organizing concepts in Williams's writing, in medical texts, and in the discourse of modernism in general. By examining Williams's poems, fiction, and essays, Crawford shows how the poet's ideas were imbued with the perspectives of early twentieth-century science and how he was able to gain authority to speak as a poet by appealing to powerful technoscientific discursive practices. As science and technology came to occupy different positions of power in the middle twentieth century than they had earlier, so too did Williams's writings shift. Williams came increasingly to question the assumptions of modernist medicine and science, to the point where he participated in (and in some ways anticipated) today's critique of Enlightenment science. In other words, he made the leap from modernism to postmodernism, a change seen most clearly in his epic poem Paterson. Crawford's thought-provoking study reveals the conflicts inherent in Williams's ideas and poetic practice, finding parallelsbetween those conflicts and developing problems in American medical education as well as the changing role of scientific authority in American culture. Fifteen illustrations accompany the text.

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 9780806125886
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 272 g
Dimensions: 216 x 139 x 19 mm
Edition: New edition

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