A Historical Guide to Emily Dickinson

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Vivian R. Pollak
Oxford University Press, 2004 M01 29 - 312 páginas
One of America's most celebrated women, Emily Dickinson was virtually unpublished in her own time and unknown to the public at large. Yet since the first publication of a limited selection of her poems in 1890, she has emerged as one of the most challenging and rewarding writers of all time. Born into a prosperous family in small town Amherst, Massachusetts, she had an above average education for a woman, attending a private high school and then Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, now Mount Holyoke College. Returning to Amherst to her loving family and her "feast" in the reading line, in the 1850s she became increasingly solitary and after the Civil War she spent her life indoors. Despite her cooking and gardening and extensive correspondence, Dickinson's life was strikingly narrow in its social compass. Not so her mind, and on her death in 1886 her sister discovered an astonishing cache of close to eighteen hundred poems. Bitter family quarrels delayed the full publication of Dickinson's "letter to the World," but today her poetry is commonly anthologized and widely praised for its precision, its intensity, its depth and beauty. Dickinson's life and work, however, remain in important ways mysterious. The essays presented here, all of them previously unpublished, provide an overview of Dickinson studies at the start of the twenty-first century. Written in an engaging and accessible style, this collection represents the best of contemporary scholarship and points the way toward exciting new directions for the future. The volume includes a biographical essay that covers some of the major turning points in the poet's life, especially those emphasized by her letters. Other essays discuss Dickinson's religious beliefs, her response to the Civil War, her class-based politics, her place in a tradition of American women's poetry, and the editing of her manuscripts. A Historical Guide to Emily Dickinson concludes with a rich bibliographical essay describing the controversial history of Dickinson's life in print, together with a substantial bibliography of relevant sources.

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Contenido

Introduction
ix
A Brief Biography
13
DICKINSON IN HER TIME
65
Illustrated Chronology
235
Bibliographical Essay
255
Contributors
285
Credits
289
Index
291
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Página 123 - Is there, in all republics, this inherent and fatal weakness?" "Must a government, of necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?
Página 123 - And this issue embraces more than the fate of these United States. It presents to the whole family of man the question whether a constitutional republic or democracy — a government of the people by the same people — can or cannot maintain its territorial integrity against its own domestic foes.
Página 15 - My dying tutor told me that he would like to live till I had been a poet, but Death was much of mob as I could master, then. And when, far afterward, a sudden light on orchards, or a new fashion in the wind troubled my attention, I felt a palsy, here, the verses just relieve.
Página 191 - I felt a Cleaving in my Mind As if my Brain had split I tried to match it - Seam by Seam But could not make them fit. The thought behind, I strove to join Unto the thought before But Sequence ravelled out of Sound Like Balls -upon a Floor.
Página 98 - Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972). Robert N. Bellah, "Civil Religion in America," in Beyond Belief: Essays on Religion in a Post-Traditional World (New York: Harper & Row, 1970).
Página 14 - MR. HIGGINSON, — Are you too deeply occupied to say if my verse is alive? The mind is so near itself it cannot see distinctly, and I have none to ask.
Página 68 - Those -dying then, Knew where they went They went to God's Right Hand That Hand is amputated now And God cannot be found The abdication of Belief Makes the Behavior small Better an ignis fatuus Than no illume at all MANUSCRIPT: About 1882 (Bingham 98-1-11). The handwriting PUBLICATION: EM (1945), 294. The text is arranged as two quatrains. The phrase "ignis fatuus
Página 19 - s this: T is first I lock the door, And push it with my fingers next, For transport it be sure. And then I go the furthest off To counteract a knock; Then draw my little letter forth And softly pick its lock.
Página 31 - His pleasure almost embarrassed me, and my brother coming, I suggested they walk. Next morning I woke him for the train, and saw him no...

Acerca del autor (2004)

Vivian R. Pollak is Professor of English and Women and Gender Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She is a past president of the Emily Dickinson International Society.

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