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The First BookTwentieth-Century Poetic Careers in America$
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Jesse Zuba

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164472

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164472.001.0001

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The History of the Poetic Career

(p.1) Introduction
The First Book

Jesse Zuba

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter discusses the unique trajectories of poetic careers throughout contemporary history. It briefly follows the twentieth-century poets discussed in this volume in engaging career from a variety of angles. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's influential sociology of cultural production, this chapter takes as a basic premise the idea that poets' trajectories generally lead across the field of production from a dominated position to a dominant one through the accumulation of recognition in the forms of publications, honors, and profits. This gradually intensifying alignment with the establishment comes at a cost, and a particularly significant one for poets, insofar as poetry defines “the most perfectly autonomous sector of the field of cultural production.”

Keywords:   poetic careers, poetry, literature, twentieth-century poets, cultural production

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