DECOROUS SEDUCTION: THE SELF-ANNOTATED POETRY OF WILLIAM EMPSON
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The paper considers the poetry of William Empson from one specific aspect: the authorial notes which he attached to many of his poems. Empson was a staunch believer in the need for authorial annotation in modern poetry, and one of the issues which this paper discusses is the extent to which his poetic practice was consistent, in this respect, with his theoretical positions. The paper also considers the relations that hold between the poems and the notes in Empson’s poetry, and outlines some of the notes’ key stylistic features and rhetorical strategies.
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