The Wicked Sisters; Women Poets, Literary History, and Discord / Edition 1

The Wicked Sisters; Women Poets, Literary History, and Discord / Edition 1

by Betsy Erkkila
     
 

This provocative study of the lives and works of Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich, and Gwendolyn Brooks focuses on the historical struggles and differences among and within women writers and among feminists themselves. Erkkila explores the troubled relations women writers experienced with both masculine and feminine literary cultures

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Overview

This provocative study of the lives and works of Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich, and Gwendolyn Brooks focuses on the historical struggles and differences among and within women writers and among feminists themselves. Erkkila explores the troubled relations women writers experienced with both masculine and feminine literary cultures, arguing that popular feminist views often romanticize and maternalize women writers and their interrelations in ways that effectively reinforce the very gender stereotypes and polarities which initially grounded women's oppression. Studying the multiple race, class, ethnic, cultural, and other locations of women within a particular social field, Erkkila offers a revisionary model of women's literary history that challenges recent feminist theory and practice along with many of our fundamental assumptions about the woman writer, women's writing, and women's literary history. In contrast to the tendency of earlier feminists to heroize literary foremothers and communities of women, Erkkila focuses on the historical struggles and conflicts that make up the history of women poets. Without discounting the historical power of sisterhood, she seeks to reclaim women's literary history as a site of contention, contingency, and ongoing struggle, rather than a separate space of untroubled and essentially cooperative accord among women. Encompassing the various historical significations of "wickedness" as destructive, powerful, playful, witty, mischievous, and not righteous, The Wicked Sisters explores the power struggles and discord that mark both the history of women poets and the history of feminist criticism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195072129
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
12/28/1992
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.56(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
1Rethinking Women's Literary History3
2Emily Dickinson and the Wicked Sisters17
The Magic Circle19
"Satan, or Sue"27
Sisterhood and Difference42
Placing Dickinson in History44
3Dickinson, Women Writers, and the Marketplace55
Literary Sisterhood: The Bronte Sisters63
"Tomes of Solid Witchcraft": Elizabeth Barrett Browning68
Superior Women: George Eliot79
Going to Market: Helen Hunt Jackson86
4Differences That Kill: Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore99
Gender and Modernism101
The Dynamics of Influence107
"Can't They See How Different It Is?"119
Witchcraft131
"Driving to the Interior"137
"You Are an Elizabeth"146
5Adrienne Rich, Emily Dickinson, and the Limits of Sisterhood152
Breaking the Mold155
Feminism and Poetry162
Lesbian Feminist Politics and Poetics170
Dickinson as Other176
"What Chou Mean WE, White Girl?"181
6Race, Black Women Writing, and Gwendolyn Brooks185
Making Herself a Tradition186
Black Blueswomen192
Poetry and Black Motherhood195
Words as Weapons206
Black Power210
"There Will Be Differences"221
"Who Said It Was Simple"229
Notes235
Bibliography245
Index261

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