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'Rimbaud in embryo’: collaborative reproduction in T. S. Eliot and Hart Crane

Cotton, Jess 2019. 'Rimbaud in embryo’: collaborative reproduction in T. S. Eliot and Hart Crane. Modernist Cultures 14 (1) , pp. 36-52. 10.3366/mod.2019.0239

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The reproductive metaphors that T. S. Eliot uses in his early theories of creativity are indicative of modernism's ambivalence towards collaborative authorship. Moving away from a critical tendency to read Eliot's collaborative practice primarily in terms of Pound's editorial signature, this article examines how modernist collaboration, as theorised by Eliot, is bound up with a fantasy of origins. Framed by Eliot's positing of ‘merging’ as ‘involuntary collaboration’, it considers the collapse that occurs between co-labour, imitation, and theft not only in Eliot's work but also that of Hart Crane. More particularly, the article explores how Eliot and Crane both make use of another poet's work to release their own poetic sensibilities; it also shows how ‘involuntary collaboration’ takes on a shadowy presence in their respective works. This highlights the complex role that fantasy and affect play within modernist poetry's collaborative practices and attempts to forge a poetic community.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISSN: 2041-1022
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 20 September 2018
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2020 22:50

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