“I have written of a cult of ‘American consensus’ that rose up among the punditocracy [in the 1940s and 50s] . . . their fervent imagining . . . that America was united and at peace and would forever be, if only ‘extremists’ stopped stirring up the pot. And I have written about the kind of intellectual self-repression it took to believe this . . . America is divided and will always be. It is not too much to suggest that the rages that accompanied the crumbling of this myth of consensus, as the furies of the 1960s advanced, would not have been so rageful – would not have been so literally murderous – had the false rhetoric of American unity not been so glibly enforced in the years that preceded it: that some of the 1960s anger and violence was a return of what America had repressed.”
- Perlstein, Rick. Nixonland. NY: Scribner, 2008. 747.
“What does it mean to break down the traditional-experimental split [in poetics]? What are the implications of a traditional and experimental hybrid that claims to overcome division and speak with one voice?
“. . . If, as Filreis writes, ‘rhetoric about poetic form was often unacknowledged Cold War politics,’ then what sort of unacknowledged politics is the rhetoric of the hybrid?”
- Ehlers, Sarah. “US Poetry and the Politics of Form” [rev. of Counter-revolution of the Word, by Alan Filreis]. Against the Current, May/June 2009, p. 40.
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