Skip to main content

Leave the roots on: Charles Olson's theory of language

Resource type
Thesis type
(Project) M.A.L.S.
Date created
Charles Olson opened his 1950 manifesto, "Projective Verse," by rhetorically questioning the relevance of poetry in postwar America. If verse is "to go ahead" and "to be of essential use" it must "catch up," he states. What verse was expected to catch up with is not specified, but Olson's pronouncement suggests that, like Pound, he was sensitive to poetry's diminished position in the cultural mainstream. But Olson was more optimistic about the future of poetry than his predecessor. In his study of the etymon, he discovered that language can and does evolve in response to changes in values and perspectives. Writing in the postwar period, Olson's "roots theory" of language was an attempt to uncover ancient, oral, and "pre-rational" models of discourse that could be used to reshape consciousness.
65 pages.
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Colby, Sasha
Member of collection
Download file Size
etd22624.pdf 421.84 KB

Views & downloads - as of June 2023

Views: 10
Downloads: 1