Dickinson Unbound: Paper, Process, Poetics

Overview


In Dickinson Unbound, Alexandra Socarides takes readers on a journey through the actual steps and stages of Emily Dickinson's creative process. In chapters that deftly balance attention to manuscripts, readings of poems, and a consideration of literary and material culture, Socarides takes up each of the five major stages of Dickinson's writing career: copying poems onto folded sheets of stationery; inserting and embedding poems into correspondence; sewing sheets together to make fascicles; scattering loose ...
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Overview


In Dickinson Unbound, Alexandra Socarides takes readers on a journey through the actual steps and stages of Emily Dickinson's creative process. In chapters that deftly balance attention to manuscripts, readings of poems, and a consideration of literary and material culture, Socarides takes up each of the five major stages of Dickinson's writing career: copying poems onto folded sheets of stationery; inserting and embedding poems into correspondence; sewing sheets together to make fascicles; scattering loose sheets; and copying lines on often torn and discarded pieces of household paper. In so doing, Socarides reveals a Dickinsonian poetics starkly different from those regularly narrated by literary history. Here, Dickinson is transformed from an elusive poetic genius whose poems we have interpreted in a vacuum into an author who employed surprising (and, at times, surprisingly conventional) methods to wholly new effect. Dickinson Unbound gives us a Dickinson at once more accessible and more complex than previously imagined. As the first authoritative study of Dickinson's material and compositional methods, this book not only transforms our ways of reading Dickinson, but advocates for a critical methodology that insists on the study of manuscripts, composition, and material culture for poetry of the nineteenth century and thereafter.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is by far the best book on Dickinson I have read in a long time. It is an important and timely contribution to Dickinson studies, to the history of the book, to the history of reading, and a crucial contribution to the emerging field of nineteenth-century historical poetics."--Virginia Jackson, author of Dickinson's Misery: A Theory of Lyric Reading

"Socarides' close attention to Dickinson's compositional practices is so interesting that it's astonishing that it's taken this long for such a book to appear-although the demanding nature of her primary archival work may explain why it has not. Dickinson Unbound sets a high standard for rigor and care of inference in Dickinson manuscript studies." --Mary Loeffelholz, author of From School to Salon: Reading Nineteenth-Century American Women's Poetry

"Characterized by rigorous scholarship, Socarides's invaluable inquiry into method sets a precedent for Dickinson studies...Highly recommended." --Choice

"[O]ffers an exciting and insightful intervention into Dickinson studies while also suggesting new avenues for approaching women's poetry of the nineteenth century." --Legacy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199380237
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Pages: 226
  • Sales rank: 1,096,873
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexandra Socarides is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Missouri.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction
Chapter 1: Dickinson's Sheets
Chapter 2: Epistolary Practices and the Problem of Genre
Chapter 3: Sewing the Fascicles: Elegy, Consolation, and the Poetics of Interruption
Chapter 4: Dickinson's "Sets" and the Rejection of Sequence
Chapter 5: Methods of Unmaking: Dickinson's Late Drafts, Scraps, and Fragments
Afterword

Index

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