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The Groove of the Poem: Reading Philippe Beck

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The Groove of the Poem: Reading Philippe Beck
by Jacques Rancière
translated by Drew S. Burk
October 31st, 2016
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A careful reading of one of France’s most important contemporary poets by one of today’s most engaging thinkers of aesthetics.

“Music is the brute that shows.
It is the avowal of materials,
And stutters between its clanging of things.”

How should one think this musical groove of the poem whose back and forth motion shuffles the material of ordinary language and revives the frozen speech of old chants? This question by renowned French thinker Jacques Rancière is the entry point for his earnest and careful reading of one of France’s most singular and important contemporary poets. For Rancière, Philippe Beck sets himself the task of a poetry after poetry whereby Beck re-writes and transforms the poems of the past, reanimating faded genres, poetizing the prose of popular tales and even commentaries regarding poems. To read and follow this groove traced as such cannot simply be done by way of taking the poems as objects of study. It supposes a dialogue regarding what these poems attempt to do as well as an idea of a poetry which serves as their foundation. This book on Philippe Beck is thus also a book made with him.

Jacques Rancière is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII. His books include The Politics of Aesthetics, On the Shores of Politics, Short Voyages to the Land of the People, The Nights of Labor, Staging the People, and The Emancipated Spectator.
Drew S. Burk is a cultural theorist, editor, and translator of contemporary French philosophy.

Critical Inquiry: (January 2017) - The Groove of the Poem

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Details Paperback | 150 pages | 5 x 8" | Letterpress Cover | Cover Design by Jason Wagner

Tags: Theory and Philsophy, Fall 2016, Jacques Rancière