Stevie Smith and Authorship

Overview

A full-length study of the British novelist, poet, and illustrator Stevie Smith (1902-1971), this book draws on extensive archival material to offer new insights into her work, challenging conventional readings of her as an eccentric. It reveals the careful control with which she managed her public persona, reassesses her allusive poetry in the light of her own conflicted response to written texts, and traces her simultaneous preoccupation with and fear of her reading public. William May considers the influence ...

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Overview

A full-length study of the British novelist, poet, and illustrator Stevie Smith (1902-1971), this book draws on extensive archival material to offer new insights into her work, challenging conventional readings of her as an eccentric. It reveals the careful control with which she managed her public persona, reassesses her allusive poetry in the light of her own conflicted response to written texts, and traces her simultaneous preoccupation with and fear of her reading public. William May considers the influence of artists such as George Grosz and Aubrey Beardsley on her apparently artless illustrations and explores her use of fiction and book reviews as a way of generating contexts for her poetry, offering readers a fascinating in-depth study that not only radically alters our understanding of Smith and her work, but provides new perspectives on British twentieth-century poetry and its reception.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199583379
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/21/2010
  • Series: Oxford English Monographs Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

William May is a Research Fellow in Humanities at the University of Southampton. He completed a doctorate on the work of Stevie Smith at Balliol College, Oxford in 2007, and lectured at St. Anne's College, Oxford and Bath Spa University before taking up his present position. He has published widely on post-war British literature, and co-edited the interdisciplinary essay collection From Self to Shelf: The Artist Under Construction (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007) with Sally Bayley. His current research project, Setting Agendas, examines the relationship between contemporary British music and literature.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction 1

1 Reforming a Literary Orphan: Stevie Smith's Poetry in Context 21

2 áA Poet Reading' 55

3 Brought to Book: The Publishing History of Stevie Smith 83

4 Towards a Constructive Criticism of Stevie Smith 113

5 áObservation, Discipline, and Company': The Overlooked Reader 142

6 áBeyond Words': Stevie Smith as a Visual Artist 170

Conclusion 206

Bibliography 217

Index 239

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