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American Antiwar Poetry Examined

Resisting Imperial Jouissance: The Transideological Line in Recent American Antiwar Poetry” by Dean Brink has been published in Volume 43, Number 1 /2013 of Canadian Review of American Studies: “This essay critically examines various strategies taken in the most compelling contemporary American antiwar poetry written against the occupation of Iraq. It finds both limitations, as many poets have succumbed to a postmodern distance from events, and brilliance, in poets who have discerned ways of eliciting hope in the aims of such poetry. Linda Hutcheon’s term transideological irony is used to show how many poets are complicit, in their irony, with rubrics of the dominant discourse such as ‘a nation at war.’ In light of Žižek’s Lacanian-Marxist formulation of jouissance, the imperial jouissance manifest in much poetry presented as thematically ‘antiwar’ is examined in terms of both successes and shortcomings.” The essay is available for purchase online as a PDF download.

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