Dickinson's Misery: A Theory of Lyric Reading

Dickinson's Misery: A Theory of Lyric Reading

by Virginia Jackson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691119910

ISBN-13: 9780691119915

Pub. Date: 07/05/2005

Publisher: Princeton University Press

How do we know that Emily Dickinson wrote poems? How do we recognize a poem when we see one? In Dickinson's Misery, Virginia Jackson poses fundamental questions about reading habits we have come to take for granted. Because Dickinson's writing remained largely unpublished when she died in 1886, decisions about what it was that Dickinson wrote have been left

…  See more details below

Overview

How do we know that Emily Dickinson wrote poems? How do we recognize a poem when we see one? In Dickinson's Misery, Virginia Jackson poses fundamental questions about reading habits we have come to take for granted. Because Dickinson's writing remained largely unpublished when she died in 1886, decisions about what it was that Dickinson wrote have been left to the editors, publishers, and critics who have brought Dickinson's work into public view. The familiar letters, notes on advertising fliers, verses on split-open envelopes, and collections of verses on personal stationery tied together with string have become the Dickinson poems celebrated since her death as exemplary lyrics.

Jackson makes the larger argument that the century and a half spanning the circulation of Dickinson's work tells the story of a shift in the publication, consumption, and interpretation of lyric poetry. This shift took the form of what this book calls the "lyricization of poetry," a set of print and pedagogical practices that collapsed the variety of poetic genres into lyric as a synonym for poetry.

Featuring many new illustrations from Dickinson's manuscripts, this book makes a major contribution to the study of Dickinson and of nineteenth-century American poetry. It maps out the future for new work in historical poetics and lyric theory.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691119915
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/05/2005
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
1,256,588
Product dimensions:
6.18(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.79(d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Abbreviations xvii

Beforehand 1

Chapter One: Dickinson Undone 16

Bird-tracks 16

"When what they sung for . . ." 26

Lyric Context 31

Hybrid Poems 38

Dickinson Unbound 45

The Archive 53

Chapter Two: Lyric Reading 68

"My Cricket" 68

Lyric Alienation 92

Lyric Theory 100

Against (Lyric) Theory 109

Chapter Three: Dickinson's Figure of Address 118

"The only poets" 118

Lyric Media 126

"The man who makes sheets of paper" 133

"You-there-I-here" 142

"The most pathetic thing I do" 158

Chapter Four: "Faith in Anatomy" 166

Achilles' Head 166

The Interpretant 179

"No Bird-yet rode in Ether--" 185

The Queen's Place 196

Chapter Five: Dickinson's Misery 204

"Misery, how fair" 204

"The Literature of Misery" 212

"This Chasm" 219

"And bore her safe away" 228

Conclusion 235

Notes 241

Selected Works Cited 275

Index 293

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >