Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226517117 Will Publish January 2018
Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226517087 Will Publish January 2018
E-book $25.00 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226517254 Will Publish January 2018

Senses of Style

Poetry before Interpretation

Jeff Dolven

Senses of Style

Jeff Dolven

240 pages | 1 halftone, 1 line drawing | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2017
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226517117 Will Publish January 2018
Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226517087 Will Publish January 2018
E-book $25.00 ISBN: 9780226517254 Will Publish January 2018
In an age of interpretation, style eludes criticism. Yet it does so much tacit work: telling time, telling us apart, telling us who we are. What does style have to do with form, history, meaning, our moment’s favored categories? What do we miss when we look right through it? Senses of Style essays an answer. An experiment in criticism, crossing four hundred years and composed of nearly four hundred brief, aphoristic remarks, it is a book of theory steeped in examples, drawn from the works and lives of two men: Sir Thomas Wyatt, poet and diplomat in the court of Henry VIII, and his admirer Frank O’Hara, the midcentury American poet, curator, and boulevardier. Starting with puzzle of why Wyatt’s work spoke so powerfully to O’Hara across the centuries, Jeff Dolven ultimately explains what we talk about when we talk about style, whether in the sixteenth century, the twentieth, or the twenty-first.
Review Quotes
Los Angeles Review of Books
"The resistance to style is what makes Dolven’s protagonists such compelling objects of study. Like impish players who flout the rules of a game only to make us articulate them, O’Hara and Wyatt illuminate the secret logic of style in precisely the moments when they evade it."
Wayne Koestenbaum, CUNY Graduate Center
“Jeff Dolven’s new book—perfectly sculpted—is sure to become a classic.  With succinct, idiosyncratic eloquence, he brings together two poets who seem to have nothing in common, and yet whose styles and stances uncannily intersect.  Through this act of radical juxtaposition, Dolven reinvents the art of criticism.”
Roland Greene, Stanford University
“‘Reading for style’ sounds natural until we think about how much ‘style’ comprehends and how undigested our notions of it can be. Ambitious, conversational, and unconventional all at once, Senses of Style is the book on style for our time.”
Maureen McLane, New York University
“‘Explanation is the enemy of style,’ Jeff Dolven writes. Senses of Style gives the lie to that aperçu.  Dolven offers us both a dazzling writerly object and a model: a ramifying meditation on Wyatt and O’Hara under the sign of surprising likenings, the matter of style. Conversable, witty, erudite, pyrotechnic: Dolven paradoxes and aphorizes his way equally into the depths and the shallows. With this startling, masterly, mesmerizing book, Dolven sentences us toward a brilliantly friendly ongoingness.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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