Lyn Hejinian

Jeffrey Gray (Seton Hall University)
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The experimental poet, essayist, translator, and publisher Lyn Hejinian, best known for her 1987 volume My Life, was one of the founders of the “language” movement in poetry – a name in part derived from a seminal journal titled L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, which appeared in the late 1970s. The language movement developed in opposition to the mimetic, personal, and subjective poetry that predominated after World War II and which the language poets view as “transparent” and naively expressivist, since it claims to represent a world without acknowledging the role of language in shaping that world. Their own work, by contrast, foregrounds the materiality of language and its disjunctions, suggesting an idea of language as not merely existing to accommodate thoughts or feelings, but largely to…

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Citation: Gray, Jeffrey. "Lyn Hejinian". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 March 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12106, accessed 02 December 2023.]

12106 Lyn Hejinian 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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