Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Utopias of One$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joshua Kotin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196541

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196541.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Wallace Stevens’s Point of View

Wallace Stevens’s Point of View

(p.91) Chapter Five Wallace Stevens’s Point of View
Utopias of One

Joshua Kotin

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes Wallace Stevens's pursuit of value from his point of view—especially during the act of writing. It begins with an account of his attitude toward his metaphysical need and then examines how three poems fail to satisfy it: “Sunday Morning” (1915, 1923), “The Idea of Order at Key West” (1934), and “Credences of Summer” (1947). Each poem, the chapter argues, approaches the problem of value as a problem of community formation. Each poem is an experiment—an attempt to coordinate a collective solution to the fact/value dichotomy that avoids both nihilism and what Ludwig Wittgenstein calls the “supernatural.” Ultimately, the chapter details how a fourth poem, “The Auroras of Autumn” (1948), solves the problem of value (for Stevens) by abandoning the idea of community altogether. The poem's success hinges on its inaccessibility—how it prevents readers from sharing Stevens's point of view.

Keywords:   Wallace Stevens, writing, The Auroras of Autumn, value, community formation, supernatural, poetry

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.