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The Language of Inquiry

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  214 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Lyn Hejinian is among the most prominent of contemporary American poets. Her autobiographical poem My Life, a best-selling book of innovative American poetry, has garnered accolades and fans inside and outside academia. The Language of Inquiry is a comprehensive and wonderfully readable collection of her essays, and its publication promises to be an important event for Ame ...more
Paperback, 447 pages
Published December 27th 2000 by University of California Press (first published January 1st 2000)
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Language is the system that makes the world perceptible to us, but also perpetually divides us from it. Hejinian’s work grows out from that paradox; it’s distinguished by its unusual degree of sympathy for the propositions on either side of the comma. You get the same sense reading these talks and essays that you do from much of Hejinian’s poetry: that she revels in the pleasures of syntactical shapeliness, enumeration, and the self that’s assembled in the act of arranging sentences, while at th ...more
More interesting than good...the beginning is better than the middle or end, too.
Marissa Perel
I have only read parts of this but plan to read it all - so far profound
Nov 04, 2010 Andrew marked it as to-read
Author influenced Naja Marie Aidt in Best European Fiction 2010
A wonderful collection of essays about language poetry--non-closure.
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  • The New Sentence
  • My Emily Dickinson
  • Midwinter Day
  • Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary
  • The Wedding Dress: Meditations on Word and Life
  • Collected Works
  • The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets
  • "A"
  • Sleeping With the Dictionary
  • The Collected Poems
  • My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry
  • Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing
  • The Collected Poems
  • The Book of Beginnings and Endings
  • I'll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing By Women
  • American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language
  • Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil
  • Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems, 1970-2005
Lyn Hejinian (born May 17, 1941) is an American poet, essayist, translator and publisher. She is often associated with the Language poets and is well known for her landmark work My Life (Sun & Moon, 1987, original version Burning Deck, 1980), as well as her book of essays, The Language of Inquiry (University of California Press, 2000).

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