Consisting of essays of the 1960s and 1970s, and assembled by Laura (Riding) Jackson herself, this previously unpublished collection is both a substantial addition to the work of her later period, after she had renounced poetry, and also a spirited contribution to later twentieth-century debates about language, literature, and life. There is immense variety and appeal here. Readers will find themselves challenged by the author’s combative engagement with her contemporaries, and rewarded by the lucid complexity and immediacy of her thinking. Topics include: love, friendship, imagination; thinking, belief, and conviction; the importance of knowledge of language; the active unselfishness of women; the intrinsic reality of mind; death; good and evil; ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’; structuralism and theory; the novel, history, myth – besides her judgements on writers such as Coleridge, and contemporaries such as Stein. As the excitement aroused by ‘theory’ subsides, now may be the time for Laura (Riding) Jackson’s considered judgement of the spiritual function of language and human life to be given the attention it deserves.
|Publisher:||Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.91(w) x 8.66(h) x (d)|
About the Author
The Author: Laura (Riding) Jackson worked first as a poet in her native USA, where she was associated with the Fugitives, then in Europe, collaborating as poet and critic with Robert Graves among others. Not long after her return to America in 1939, she renounced poetry, judging it an artificial substitute for natural truth-speaking. There followed two decades devoted to the study of language with her husband Schuyler B. Jackson, crowned by three prolific decades of renewed writing and publishing activity. Laura (Riding) Jackson died in 1991.
The Editors: John Nolan is editor of Laura (Riding) Jackson’s The Failure Of Poetry; The Promise Of Language. Alan J. Clark is her authorized bibliographer, and his check-list of her work appeared in Chelsea 69 (2000); he has co-edited her books First Awakenings and The Word «Woman», and was text-editor of The Poems of Laura Riding (2001). The editors are members of the author’s board of literary executors; their several respective contributions on her work have appeared in the UK, USA, Japan, and Brazil.
Table of Contents
Contents: The essays on language focus on: The importance of knowledge of words – The harmful effects of science-inspired approaches to language, eg structuralism – The relations between language, reason, thought, mind, spirit – The essays on literature focus on: The immorality of competitive literary individualism – Twentieth-century poetry – Her own poetry and its sequel in her testament The Telling (1972) – The question of her influence; poetry contrasted with philosophy and religion – The novel – Her judgements of writers such as Coleridge and contemporaries such as Stein – The essays on life focus on: Human identity as centred to ‘soul’ – Women’s active unselfishness – Polity and spirituality – Liberalism’s moral indeterminacy – The ascendancy of professionalized specialisms, eg mathematical intellectualism, and its implications for general thinking – Imagination – Myth – Friendship, love, death, good and evil.