Next Article in Journal
The American Film Musical and the Place(less)ness of Entertainment: Cabaret’s “International Sensation” and American Identity in Crisis
Next Article in Special Issue
Ethical Mimesis and Emergence Aesthetics
Previous Article in Journal
A Dialogue on the Constructions of GLBT and Queer Ethos: “I Belong to a Culture That Includes …”
Open AccessArticle

Senses of Echo Lake: Michael Palmer, Stanley Cavell, and the Moods of an American Philosophical Tradition

Department of English, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
Humanities 2019, 8(2), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8020098
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 15 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 19 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics and Literary Practice)
This essay explores a philosophical tradition that Stanley Cavell has traced out and which he emphasizes as being American inasmuch as it is arises out of the thinking of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. It then investigates how the poems of the avant-garde poet Michael Palmer link with, overlap with, this strain of American philosophy in terms of how it enacts an understanding of what we might call “philosophical mood,” on outlook based on the navigation of representation, generative self-consciousness, and doubt that amounts to a form of epistemology. The essay does not trace the influence—direct or otherwise of Cavell and his arguments for philosophy on the poems, despite a biographical connection between Cavell and Palmer, his former student. Instead it brings out the way that one might fruitfully locate Palmer’s work within an American literary/philosophical continuum. The article shows how that context opens up the work to a range of important existential and ethical implications. I endeavor to show that Notes for Echo Lake, Palmer’s most important collection, locates itself, its language, within such a frame so as to provide a place for readerly encounters with the limitations of language. These encounters then are presented as an opportunity for a deeper understanding of subjectivity and for attuning oneself to the role that active reading and interpretation might play in moral perfectionism. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ethics; Stanley Cavell; Michael Palmer; poetry; American philosophy; Ralph Waldo Emerson; poetics; language poetry; moral perfectionism Ethics; Stanley Cavell; Michael Palmer; poetry; American philosophy; Ralph Waldo Emerson; poetics; language poetry; moral perfectionism
MDPI and ACS Style

Deming, R. Senses of Echo Lake: Michael Palmer, Stanley Cavell, and the Moods of an American Philosophical Tradition. Humanities 2019, 8, 98.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop