The Cambridge Companion to Emily Dickinson (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
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This Companion consists of 14 essays by leading international scholars. They provide a series of new perspectives on one of the most enigmatic and widely read American writers. These essays, specially tailored to the needs of undergraduates, examine all of Dickinson's writings, letters and criticism, and place her work in a variety of literary, cultural and political contexts. The volume will be of interest to scholars and students. It features a detailed chronology and a comprehensive guide to further reading.
convergence of cultural, physical, and socio-economic dimensions: both Cooper and Hawthorne complain about the “commonplace,” and James lists the missing institutions of rank and privilege. The following stanzas by Emily Dickinson derive some of their meaning from this tradition of literary anti-egalitarianism: or at least, the insertion of the verse into that complex of cultural codes yields interesting results. It sifts from Leaden Sieves – It powders all the Wood. It fills with Alabaster
to admire aspects of the view and the magnificent architecture of surmise. NOTES 1 Such laborers were often referred to as hired hands: their situation had changed little since the days of William Langland’s fourteenth-century Piers Plowman, where there is a line about “Laborerys that han no land bot liue on here handus” (p. 105). Piers Plowman: The Z Version, ed. A. G. Rigg and Charlotte Brewer (Toronto: the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1983). 2 Emily Dickinson was born in
the public “appetite” for Dickinson and staging his putative “discovery” of new poems as a media event. “[W]e continue to hope that there are stores of Dickinson material still to be discovered, works to feed the appetite of those who would like to have more of her poems,” Shurr writes in his Introduction (New Poems, p. 2). There are many things wrong with Shurr’s edition. Shaped by notions of the author, poetry, and the aesthetic, which were set in place by the first editorial and critical
before his suicide, Crane began his sonnet “To Emily Dickinson” with that hunger Williams had sensed in Dickinson: “You who desired so much – in vain to ask – / You fed your hunger like an endless task.” Crane saw Dickinson as a reconciler of opposites – “Some reconcilement of remotest mind”; and he answered the bloomless flower claim of Williams and Aiken with the line, “– Truly no flower yet withers in your hand,/ The harvest you descried and understand/ Needs more than wit to gather, love to
expressions by Emily to and about Susan. As readers will see, Mabel Loomis Todd, one of the first two editors producing volumes of Dickinson’s poems, wanted to obfuscate the centrality of Susan’s roles in Emily’s writing processes, and went to great lengths to suppress any trace of Susan as literary collaborator and confidante. However, though mentioned in biographies and tabulated in editions, these facts have remained dispersed and scattered, and thus generally uninterpreted. In other words,