H.D. and Sapphic Modernism, 1910-1950

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Diana Collecott proposes that Sappho's presence in H.D.'s work is as significant as that of Homer in Pound's and of Dante in Eliot's. She undertakes a radical revision of H.D.'s Hellenism and her imagism, relating both to the literary and sexual politics of the First World War period. Connecting the fragmentary condition of Sappho's writings with the erasure of women within modernism and the silencing of lesbians in the wider culture, she traces the Sapphic in H.D.'s prose and poetry and in its modern contexts. Her exploration develops a lesbian poetics not only for H.D. but also for contemporaries such as Bryher, Amy Lowell and Virginia Woolf and for successors such as Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich and Olga Broumas.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...[an] erudite study..." M.S. Vogeler, Choice

"In its sustained scholarship, innovative theoretical exploration, and illuminating interpretation of H.D's writing, Diana Collecott's study represents a significant and impressive accomplishment, and will certainly alter permanently the way in which H.D. is read. The importance of H.D. and Sapphic Modernism is in laying open many dimensions of H.D.'s Sapphic intertextuality, especially the profound cultural, political, and artistic implications of Sapphism in the early twentieth century. This entails the recovery of an intricate and dense network of women writers, whose literary project and whose whole conception of intellectual exchange was distict from the climate of early modernism and its male collaborators." Eileen Gregory

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521550789
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Introduction: Sappho, Sapphic, Saph 1
1 She too is my poet: Sapphistry 9
2 A life of being: negotiating gender 40
3 The perfect bi-: negotiating sexuality 70
4 Straight as the Greek: Hellenism and modernism 103
5 The art of the future: her emergence from Imagism 135
6 What is (not) said: lesbian poetics 172
7 Re-membering Shakes-pear: negotiations with tradition 221
Afterword: at the cross-roads 258
App Fragments of Sappho in H.D.'s poetry and prose 266
Notes 273
Works cited 309
Index 335
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