Thomas Gardner argues in this original study that we are just beginning, as a culture, to understand the far-reaching implications of Emily Dickinson's work. Looking at the way quite different writers have enacted and fleshed-out crucial aspects of her poetry, Gardner gives us a Dickinson for our times. Beginning with the work of Lucie Brock-Broido, Alice Fulton, Kathleen Fraser, and Robert Hass, Gardner moves on to analytical chapters and fully developed conversations with four writers in whose work he finds the fullest extension of Dickinson's legacy. The interviews with these fourMarilynne Robinson, Charles Wright, Susan Howe, and Jorie Grahamprovide a particularly intimate look at writers at work.
In returning to Dickinson's work, Gardner observes, contemporary writers have powerfully extended what he calls her poetics of broken responsiveness in which an acknowledgment of limits leads, paradoxically, to a deep engagement with a world beyond our capacity to master or possess. In the hands of our most important poets and novelists, Dickinson's "emptying of the articulate self" has become a potent means of addressing some of our culture's fundamental erotic, religious, philosophical, and social questions. A Door Ajar makes visible the Dickinson that will matter to writers and readers over the next several decades.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
|Product dimensions:||9.40(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Thomas Gardner is Clifford Cutchins III Professor of English at Virginia Tech. Among his other books are Discovering Ourselves in Whitman: The Contemporary American Long Poem and Regions of Unlikeness: Explaining Contemporary Poetry.
Table of Contents
Enlarging Loneliness: Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping 23
Interview with Marilynne Robinson 47
Restructured and Restrung: Charles Wright's Zone Journals 70
Interview with Charles Wright 95
Words Sound Other Ways: Susan Howe's Prose 109
Interview with Susan Howe 138
Meeting Apart: Jorie Graham's Swarm 166
Interview with Jorie Graham 196