Reader: Stephen Cope

Accession Number -

December 2, 1999
The Unitarian Center
Tape Quality:
good; sound quality poor for Q&A
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For the 15th Annual George Oppen Memorial Lecture on Twentieth Century Poetics, Stephen Cope, Special Collections Librarian at UC San Diego, details his process of editing George Oppen's "Working Papers," previously known as "Day Books," a collection of Oppen's own undated notebook-entries concerning much of his poetic output. In his lecture "The Whole is the False: Oppen’s Negativity," Cope focuses on notions of negativity in Oppen’s poetry, as well as the fragmentary form of the writing. He also proposes connections between the poetry of Oppen, Duncan, and others as models of poetic integrity. The result is a clear discussion of Oppen's serial writing, his work with his own notebooks, his editing, and his revision of published work; issues which Cope takes up to describe a quality of incompleteness in the poet's life work. He goes on to discuss Oppen in relation to the fundamental uncertainty in American experimental poetry after Pound. The lecture includes a visual presentation of some of the pages of Oppen’s notebooks and culminates with a Q&A session. Cope is introduced by Steve Dickision.





















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