A study of how we should read one of America's most important poets. Ben Hickman argues that we must attend to Ashbery's radical conception of reading if we are to understand the originality of his writing. His study focuses on Ashbery's reading of English poets, including Andrew Marvell, John Donne, William Wordsworth, John Clare, T. S. Eliot and W. H. Auden, and examines Ashbery's writing in terms of an 'aesthetic of inattention'. Hickman critiques the Americanisation of Ashbery's work as well as common assumptions about his Romanticism, his avant-garde Modernism and his engagement with the historical present. He demonstrates that Ashbery's generosity as a writer is closely tied to his generosity, inattention and situatedness as a reader.
John Ashbery and English Poetry
Edinburgh University Press