• Click, Click, Click: Cliché in the poetry of Emily Berry, Heather Phillipson and Sam Riviere

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    Click, Click, Click: Cliché in the poetry of Emily Berry, Heather Phillipson and Sam Riviere

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Abstract

In his lecture series The Poetics of Cliché, Mark Cousins suggested that the cliché is a peculiarity of modernity. Linked not only with the production but also the reproduction of talk, a poetics of the cliché asks at what point does the stereotype solidify? And is the process reversible? We call clichéd that which is hackneyed or overfamiliar but also a turn of phrase that has attempted an elevation but in which the elevation has failed. This essay will argue that the poetry of Emily Berry, Heather Phillipson and Sam Riviere can be best characterised as poetry of the cliché. That it is poetry that works precisely at the point of tension between the worn out and the elevated image or phrase, between the click that announces the dislocation of a voice, the click allows us to continue, and the cliché that gets stuck where it stands. The vernacular was one of the recurring themes in Cousins' lecture series. Looking at it through the lens of the cliche permits a new and somewhat sceptical stance. The poetry of Berry, Phillipson and Riviere can also be seen to approaching common experience and language with a similar sidelong gaze.

How to Cite: Attlee, D . (2015) “Click, Click, Click: Cliché in the poetry of Emily Berry, Heather Phillipson and Sam Riviere”, Dandelion: Postgraduate Arts Journal and Research Network. 5(2). doi: 10.16995/ddl.319

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Published on
13 Mar 2015
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