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Old Masters and Modern Intrigue: Reception of Pieter Bruegel the Elder in the Late Poetry of William Carlos Williams

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Author: Barth, Catherine E.
Advisor: Palermo, Charles, 1965-
Committee Members: Stock, Ann Marie; MacGowan, Christopher J. (Christopher John); Levesque, Catherine
Issued Date: 7/13/2012
Subjects: Williams Carlos Williams
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Modernism
Reception aesthetics
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/16703
Description: In this thesis, I examine how Williams reawakens Bruegel's past for us (the postmodern audience) through his own historicizing spirit and visual intelligence. Through the framework of Jauss' reception aesthetics, I discuss why Bruegel's work resonated with the modernist moment, and with the late poetry of William Carlos Williams in particular. My focus is the "Pictures from Brueghel" sequence, for which Williams was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1963. In the sequence, Williams attempts to fuse the design of painting and poem, and the result is a new "composite" that gives these old master paintings new light.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies


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