The Poetics of Common Knowledge focuses on Descartes, Hegel, Freud, and the information theorists, on the one hand, and the poets of the American avant-garde, on the other. This book is a call literally for a new poetry, a new making, that manifests the possibility for sense-making in a postmodern condition without universals or absolutes. In such a poetry, fragmentation bespeaks not brokenness but the richness of the world apprehended without the habits of recognition.
Don Byrd is Professor of English at State University of New York at Albany. He has also written Charles Olson's Maximus; Aesop's Garden; and The Great Dime Store Centennial.
"Don Byrd's book presents postmodernism as a continuation of the metaphysical skeptical tradition, reaching its dead end with deconstruction. Byrd's alternative in literary studies is a return to poetry as a revitalization of language. The book is very learned, and written with verve and vigor." — Mihai I. Spariosu, The University of Georgia
"This is an important, provocative book. At a time when poetics—especially that of the difficult sort dealt with here—has been increasingly pushed to the margins of academic discourse, Don Byrd has come forward with a tour de force that both argues and enacts the bearing of poetic knowledge upon the issues and debates tending to displace it. He not only offers astute, illuminating readings of work by Stein, Zukofsky, Duncan, Olson, and others, but goes to great lengths to map the ground—intellectual, historical, technological, phenomenological—that makes these works matter. Such ground makes his own undertaking on behalf of poetic knowledge purposeful and necessary, and his mapping of it is not only informed, sophisticated and intellectually stunning but passionate and compelling as well." — Nathaniel Mackey, University of California, Santa Cruz