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Emily Dickinson: A Collection of Critical Essays Paperback – August 12, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0130335241 ISBN-10: 013033524X Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A generation ago Prentice Hall's Twentieth Century Views series set the standard for truly useful collections of literary criticism on widely studied authors. These collections of essays, selected and introduced by distinguished scholars, made the most informative and provocative critical work on each writer easily available to students, scholars, and the general public. Now the New Century Views series, co-edited by Richard Brodhead and Maynard Mack, offers volumes of the same excellence for the contemporary moment. Each volume captures and makes accessible the most stimulating critical writing of our time on crucial literary figures of the past and present. Also included in each is an introduction to the author's life and work, a chronology of important dates, and a selected bibliography.

From the Back Cover

A truly useful collection of literary criticism on a widely studied author, this collection of essays, selected and introduced by a distinguished scholar, makes the most informative and provocative critical work easily available to the general public. Offers volumes of the same excellence for the contemporary moment. Captures and makes accessible the most stimulating critical writing of our time on a crucial literary figure of the past. Also included is an introduction to the author's life and work, a chronology of important dates, and a selected bibliography.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 1 edition (August 12, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 013033524X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130335241
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By tepi on November 10, 2001
EMILY DICKINSON: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ARTICLES. Edited by Judith Farr. New Century Views. 268 pages. Upper Saddle River, NJ: 1996. ISBN 0-13-033524-X (pbk).
After an interesting, informative, and vigorously written Introduction by Judith Farr, eighteen articles of varying quality follow. Of the eighteen, at least eight are definitely worth reading. From these eight, the reader comes away with an enhanced appreciation of ED's work, with a better idea of how to go about reading and understanding her poems, and in awe of her giant sensibility.
Most of the remaining essays, unfortunately, seem to a greater or lesser extent to share the same defect. They have been written from either a Christian or feminist perspective, and seem determined at all costs to find ways of making ED fit the procrustean beds of their respective ideologies. As such they end up telling us much more about their writers than about ED, and I personally found many of them unreadable.
There are so many today who seem determined to reduce ED, to cut her down to their own diminished size and rope her in for their particular cause, so many partisans who are desperately pretending: "In fact, you know, Emily Dickinson is really one of us!" ED, it is stridently affirmed, was an American, a Christian, and a female poet of the 19th century. But we all know that there were many such poets. And where are they now? Who is reading them? No-one. And if that's all ED had been I don't think anyone today would be reading her either.
ED escaped all bounds. She was, in a sense, not an 'American,' certainly not a 'Christian,' and not even a 'woman.' She was a human being immersed like all of us in the human condition, and speaking to us out of that condtion in a way no-one has ever spoken before.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By generalizethis on May 11, 2013
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I'm a third of the way through, and it's becoming painfully obvious that too many of the essays suffer from feminist ideology. Instead of raising Emily to cognitive genius beside her only contemporary ever--Shakespeare's Hamlet--they diminish her to shriveled psyche who was the product of Victorian America. Instead of giving her the sole place of "The Great American Poet," they steep themselves in an air of modern superiority and lecture us to the "real" meaning, which diminishes Emily to a starving, feeble woman who could not escape the pressures of her age. It's a noxious air, but it's easy enough to escape: just pick up her collected works, open a random page, and let her take back her throne from jealous moderns.

Now about finished, the book reads a bit better. The middle and later entries, although some are still skewed towards the author's choosen theory, manage to acknowledge Dickenson's choices in her art and underscore her genius. Some of the critics can bluster on about a particular theory they have, but all in all, you'll find some good insights. Probably not a book you'll read and re-read, but worth the time for any ED fan.
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By Raghav on November 28, 2014
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It's good
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Emily Dickinson: A Collection of Critical Essays
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