At the beginning of the 21st century, there is still no generally accepted comprehensive definition of the lyric or differentiated modern toolkit for its analysis. The reception of poetry is largely characterised either by an empathetic identification of critics with the lyric persona or by exclusive interest in formal patterning.
The present volume seeks to remedy this deficit. All the contributors ‘theorise’ the lyric to overcome the impasse of an impressionistic and narrowly formalistic critical debate on the genre. Their papers focus on a variety of different questions: the problem of establishing a framework for definition and classification; the search for dynamic and potent critical approaches; investigations of poetry's cultural performance and its fundamental relevance for the construction of group cohesion.
The essays collected in this volume offer a consciously polyphonic range of theories and interpretations, suggesting to the reader a variety of theoretical frameworks and practical illustrations of how a discussion of poetry may be firmly grounded in modern literary theory.
Eva MÜLLER-ZETTELMANN and Margarete RUBIK: Introduction
Defining the Lyric Werner WOLF: The Lyric: Problems of Definition and a Proposal for Reconceptualisation Sabine COELSCH-FOISNER: The Mental Context of Poetry: From Philosophical Concepts of Self to a Model of Poetic Consciousness (
Ethos – Mode – Voice) Angelica MICHELIS: Eat My Words: Poetry as Transgression
Narratology and Beyond Monika FLUDERNIK: Allegory, Metaphor, Scene and Expression. The Example of English Medieval and Early Modern Lyric Poetry Eva MÜLLER-ZETTELMANN: “A Frenzied Oscillation”: Auto-Reflexivity in the Lyric
Peter Hühn Plotting the Lyric: Forms of Narration in Poetry Wolfgang G. MÜLLER: The Lyric Insertion in Fiction and Drama: Theory and Practice Margarete RUBIK: In Deep Waters. Or: What’s the Difference between Drowning in Poetry and in Prose? Manfred PFISTER: “As an unperfect actor on the stage”: Notes Towards a Definition of Performance and Performativity in Shakespeare’s
Sonnets Max NÄNNY: Diagrammatic Iconicity in Poetry
Mapping (Post) Modern Poetry Peter V. ZIMA: Inhuman Aesthetics. From Poe, Mallarmé and Valéry to Adorno and Lyotard Pilar ABAD-GARCIA: Generic Description and the Postmodern Lyric Discourse/Mode: Carol Ann Duffy’s “Anne Hathaway” Brian MCHALE: Poetry under Erasure Norbert BACHLEITNER: The Virtual Muse. Forms and Theory of Digital Poetry
Constructing Group Identity Michael METZELTIN: Courtship Rituals as Paradigmatic Forms of Poetry. A textual and anthropological perspective Eva MÜLLER-ZETTELMANN: Poetry, Cultural Memory and the English Lyric Tradition Notes on Contributors