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Poetry & BarthesAnglophone Responses 1970-2000$
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Calum Gardner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941367

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941367.001.0001

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Rejections of Barthes

Rejections of Barthes

(p.159) Chapter Five Rejections of Barthes
Poetry & Barthes

Calum Gardner

Liverpool University Press

The methodology of the book means that writers’ engagement with Barthes is what is studied, but this risks erasing writers who shy away from him. This chapter considers why some poets, particularly those who are people of colour and/or queer, reject Barthes aesthetically and politically. This issue is positioned in relationship to contemporary discussions of avant-garde poetry and whiteness, and these concerns are illustrated with a more in-depth reading of the work of John Yau. This is followed by a discussion of queer objections to the Barthes of language poetry and a consideration of his work in the context of the New Narrative. The chapter concludes by considering why Kathy Acker rejects Barthes in favour of Bataille.

Keywords:   Roland Barthes, race, avant-garde, John Yau, New Narrative, queer, Kathy Acker

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