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Abandoned Women and Poetic Tradition (Women in Culture & Society)by Lawrence I. Lipking
Synopses & Reviews
At the heart of poetic tradition is a figure of abandonment, a woman forsaken and out of control. She appears in writings ancient and modern, in the East and the West, in high art and popular culture produced by women and by men. What accounts for her perennial fascination? What is her function—in poems and for writers? Lawrence Lipking suggests many possibilities. In this figure he finds a partial record of women's experience, an instrument for the expression of religious love and yearning, a voice for psychological fears, and, finally, a model for the poet. Abandoned women inspire new ways of reading poems and poetic tradition.
Book News Annotation:
Lipking (humanities, Northwestern U.) develops the notion of the abandoned woman as a poetic form. He reconsiders many major authors from Sappho and Ovid to Dickinson and T.S. Eliot, and discusses lesser-known writers whose work acts as a voice within and against tradition. Compares the ways that men have imagined women and women have imagined themselves. In conclusion he proposes an unconventional poetics that speaks to the experiences of both sexes.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
With a Foreword by Catharine R. Stimpson.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -288) and index.
About the Author
Lawrence Lipking, the Chester D. Tripp Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University, is an editor of the Norton Anthology of English Literature and author of The Ordering of the Arts in Eighteenth-Century England and The Life of the Poet, which is published by the University of Chicago Press.
Table of Contents
Series Editor's Foreword
1. Ariadne at the Wedding: Abandoned Women and Poetic Tradition
2. Lord Byron's Secret: The School of Abandonment
3. Sappho Descending: Abandonment through the Ages
4. Sappho Descending: Abandonment to the Present
5. The Rape of the Sibyl: Male Poets and Abandoned Women
6. "Could I be like her?" The Example of Women Alone
7. Aristotle's Sister: A Poetics of Abandonment
Notes and Glosses
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