Title

"Life Perpetuated in ... Beautiful Lies": Sincerity's Limits and Frank O'Hara's Aesthetics of Deceit"

Department

English: Literature and Writing

Publication Year

2012

Abstract

When we read O'Hara's poems, we start to think of his persona as a real person because he maneuvers through and manipulates so many of these "private" genres. This extra layer of "complexity," then, makes the content of the poem seem more sincere, and more lifelike. Instead, O'Hara gestures toward something that appears more real -- so realistic, in fact, we don't even recognize it is constructed. My goal is not to undo forty-some years of literary history, but rather to unhinge the antecedent to poetry's "I" that the critics -- not O'Hara __ have forced upon the poems.

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