By Lytle Shaw
During this stimulating and leading edge synthesis of recent York's creative and literary worlds, Lytle Shaw makes use of the social and philosophical difficulties eager about reading” a coterie to suggest a brand new language for realizing the poet, paintings critic, and Museum of contemporary artwork curator Frank O'Hara (1926-1966). O'Hara's poems are famously choked with right names---from these of his rapid acquaintances and co-workers within the long island writing and paintings worlds (John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Grace Hartigan, Willem de Kooning, and lots of musicians, dancers, and filmmakers) to a vast diversity of well known cultural and literary heroes (Apollinaire to Jackie O). yet instead of comprehend O'Hara's most ordinarily referenced names as a hard and fast and insular viewers, Shaw argues that he makes use of the ambiguities of reference linked to the names to invent a fluid and transferring kinship structure---one that unfolded radical chances for a homosexual author working open air the constitution of the relations. As Shaw demonstrates, this dedication to an experimental version of organization additionally publications O'Hara's artwork writing. Like his poetry, O'Hara's artwork writing too has been condemned as insular, coterie writing. actually, even though, he used to be on my own between Fifties critics in his willingness to think about summary expressionism not just in the dominant languages of existentialism and formalism but in addition in the chilly conflict political and well known cultural frameworks that count on some of the issues of up to date artwork historians. Situating O'Hara inside more than a few debates approximately art's attainable family to its viewers, Shaw demonstrates that his curiosity in coterie is much less a symptomatic offshoot of his biography than an intensive literary and creative invention
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Extra resources for Frank O'Hara: The Poetics of Coterie
However, movies were always being mentioned, especially the ‘old’ movies of Frank’s youth, in regard to which he often demonstrated his now legendary enthusiasm and expertise. (52–53) To some extent, O’Hara’s insistence on breaking down spatial and social hierarchies between student and teacher and his expansion of the sites of pedagogy from the classroom to the apartment, poetry reading, and bar anticipate some of the demands of the nascent student movement of the 1960s. Obviously O’Hara’s power and authority did not simply evaporate in these newly conﬁgured relationships and sites.
The names are recalcitrant matter — designating identities from which we (and here this “we” includes O’Hara) are held at a careful distance. To universalize them is therefore not adequate; instead, they are strategic remainders that block our easy identiﬁcation. The effect of these names depends upon a version of the contextual loss — at the double levels of speaker and reader — that Marotti and most readers of coteries seek earnestly to overcome. Though O’Hara is continually supplying context, he seems to be interested in what happens when it breaks down, when we encounter markers of identity that we cannot recuperate.
Though such an “enactment” (or a kind of living out of intertextuality) is latent in O’Hara, it perhaps takes Berrigan to draw it out into something like a lifestyle. That Berrigan is “more obviously ‘genial’” in this context may be one way of understanding how he attempts to transform the more deﬁned edges of O’Hara’s model of coterie — with its reliance on effects of distanciation and alienation — into a more explicit ﬁgure of community, one that relies on a rhetoric of accessibility. The two positions on the spectrum are, however, far from opposites.