Chapter

Authority

Robert Von Hallberg

in Lyric Powers

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780226865003
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226865027 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226865027.003.0002
Authority

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This chapter identifies several sources of poetic authority—some sonic, some syntactic, and others semantic. It argues that the most distinctive authority of lyric rests still on its affirmative function, whereas the intellectual disciplines derive from doubt. Insofar as the achievements of the art are measured by the criteria of skeptical intellectual disciplines, lyric inevitably seems slight. Autonomy is poetry's special aspiration: an independence from politics, philosophy, history, or theology, so that poetic value does not depend upon political conformity, logical argumentation, historical accuracy, or religious faith. If poetry has distinctive value, it must have special features that other discourses either lack or cannot exploit fully.

Keywords: poetic authority; lyric poetry; affirmative function; poetic value; autonomy

Chapter.  10517 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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