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Fractal poetics : adaptation and complexity
In the 1980s, American poets argued over the validity of free verse. One vocal faction claimed that vers libre was formless and lacking in the devices of poetry. In this context I elaborated a poetics I called 'fractal poetry'. Over the last twenty years this poetics has evolved through engagement with complexity studies that provide ways of understanding irregular, chaotic or turbulent systems. The writings of John H. Holland offer examples of open, exploratory and inclusive complex adaptive systems that lack a centre, hierarchy or equilibrium. These dynamic examples may be analogous to a sublime poetry with an ongoing plurality of optimum states located among a multiplicity of textures and gestures. This departure from the traditional 'transcendent lyric ultimate' suggests a maximalist approach giving equal weight to figure and ground, form and content. Physicist Karen Barad's conceptualisation of 'agential realism' provides added dimension to fractal poetics by offering a model for locating meaning in the space between traditional dualisms.
ISSN : 0308-0188 CODEN : ISCRD8
ISR, Interdisciplinary science reviews A. 2005, vol. 30, n° 4, pp. 323-330 [8 pages]
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