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Being NumerousPoetry and the Ground of Social Life$
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Oren Izenberg

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144832

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144832.001.0001

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The Justice of My Feelings for Frank O’Hara

The Justice of My Feelings for Frank O’Hara

(p.107) Chapter Three The Justice of My Feelings for Frank O’Hara
Being Numerous

Oren Izenberg

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines two problems presented by Frank O'Hara's poetry: one of which is related to aesthetics and the other to ethics. It argues that O'Hara's dependence on preference does not restrict the extension of his poetry. Rather, by totalizing the scene of judgment—by treating the whole world as a magnification of the art world—O'Hara dramatizes the consequence for social life of using a single scale—not taste, but love—to determine the value of a thing, regardless of what sort of thing it is. In his effort to respect both the particularity and the abstraction of his loves, O'Hara reimagines a world in which any kind of person has the potential to be valued, whether or not any particular person happens to value him.

Keywords:   poetry, Frank O'Hara, aesthetics, ethics, preference, judgment, social life, particularity, person, love

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