Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Empirical and Non-Empirical Identifiers

Originally posted on my old Tripod blog on Friday, 28 November 2008

I have an essay in Jacket Magazine called 'Empirical and Non-Empirical Identifiers':

This essay looks at certain effects of language that I call Empirical Identifiers because of the ways in which they encourage exegetical closure through their functioning as referents to phenomena. It also looks at their opposites, which I call Non-Empirical Identifiers because of the ways in which they invite readers to participate in the creation of individual meaning and significance from language that is autonomous and non-referential. These identifiers, by enabling a ready recognition of empirical and non-empirical writing procedures in poetry, may prove useful as diagnostic devices for literary and stylistic criticism. The essay examines a range of poetic works from the last century and assesses the extent to which they exhibit a reliance on either Empirical Identifiers or Non-Empirical Identifiers.