Examining how Crane's corporeal aesthetic informs poems written across the span of his career, The Machine That Sings focuses on four texts in which Crane's preoccupation with the body reaches its apoge. Tapper treats Voyages, The Wine Merchant, and Possessions as a triptych of erotic poems in which Crane plays out alternative resolutions to the dialectic between purity and defilement, a conceptual dynamic which Tapper argues is central to both Crane's poetics of difficulty and his representations of homosexual desire. Tapper concentrates on the three sections of The Bridge, most concerned with recuperating animality: 'National Winter Garden,' 'The Dance,' and 'Cape Hatteras.'
Acknowledgments. Introduction: Recuperating the Animality of the Body 1. Eroticism Pure and Impure: Deciphering the Body in 'Possessions,' 'Voyages,' and 'The Wine Menagerie' 2. Morton Minsky Reads The Bridge: 'National Winter Garden' and the Meaning of Burlesque 3. The Invented Indian of The Bridge: Hart Crane and the Ethnographic Idea of Culture 4. The Animal in the Machine: The Technological Sublime and Corporeal Figuration in The Bridge. Notes. Works Cited. Index