Phallocentricism and Sexual Politics in Wallace Stevens’ ‘Anecdote on the Jar’

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L. Samuel Nayagam

Résumé

Wallace Stevens is one of the reputed American modernist poets. His poems demand complete concentration and attention to capture the elusive meaning. The abstractness of his poems arise from his concern for the demonstration of the interrelationship between reality and imagination and seeking for aid of imagination to interpret reality. His poems are metaphysical ,existential and linguistic abstractions. This general understanding of Stevens poetry has provoked critics like Stanley Burnshaw and Marjorie Perloff to conclude Stevens poetry as socially irrelevant, unconcerned and irresponsible. But Borgan the author of ‘Stevens and Similies: A Theory of Language” consider Stevens a poet ‘who was in fact deeply responsive to his times and evolved rapidly over the course of World War ll into one of the most compelling and ethical poets of the twentieth century’(. She asserts in her book that Stevens too had a political, social and ethical commitment. However Stevens poems were rarely studied and commented for their concern for gender relations. In Stevens’ poetry sexuality and gender aspects are often unnoticed and disregarded.

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