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Chapter 2 - The Ligature

Rob Halpern’s Common Place and the Limits of Desire

from Part I - Lyric Cells

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 October 2021

Andrea Brady
Affiliation:
Queen Mary University of London
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Summary

The lyric habits developed by Wyatt can be traced into the twenty-first century, where they also structure a series of erotic addresses to a detainee in Guantánamo Bay by the American poet Rob Halpern. Halpern’s book Common Place shows how the attempt to project a loving relation into the military prison can become complicit in the erotic objectification of the other. Constraining himself through the act of transcribing the autopsy report released by the US military following the detainee’s suicide, Halpern’s queer subject appropriates an absent victim who has been hunted down and trapped by the sovereign. And while he attempts to oppose erotic love to militarised violence in order to imagine the possibility of relation at the site where relation is banned, his book objectifies the inaccessible beloved in ways that resemble Wyatt’s politicised negotiations with the Petrarchan tradition. The continuities between Wyatt and Halpern are exemplified by the collar or ligature wrapped around the neck of Wyatt’s hind, and of the detainee.

Type
Chapter
Information
Poetry and Bondage
A History and Theory of Lyric Constraint
, pp. 60 - 82
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • The Ligature
  • Andrea Brady, Queen Mary University of London
  • Book: Poetry and Bondage
  • Online publication: 08 October 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108990684.003
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  • The Ligature
  • Andrea Brady, Queen Mary University of London
  • Book: Poetry and Bondage
  • Online publication: 08 October 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108990684.003
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Ligature
  • Andrea Brady, Queen Mary University of London
  • Book: Poetry and Bondage
  • Online publication: 08 October 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108990684.003
Available formats
×