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The Passion of Emily Dickinson Paperback – August 14, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0674656666 ISBN-10: 0674656660

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Farr...is one of the most intelligent and authoritative guides to this extraordinary American poet. (Paul Delany New York Times Book Review)

Well-argued and eloquently written...Farr's study contributes essential cultural and historical contexts and offers superb readings of Dickinson's letters and lyrics. For these reasons, The Passion of Emily Dickinson enriches our understanding of one of the greatest and most enigmatic of American poets. (Stephanie A. Tingley American Literature)

A richly revealing contribution...[with] eye-opening readings of' Dickinson's poems. (Jane Donahue Eberwein Belles Lettres)

I admire [the book's] even temperament…Farr admirably avoids ideological rigidity, even while acknowledging, and adopting, strengihs of particular advocates. Her relating Dickinson to nineteenth-century American art is a major contribution. (R.W. Franklin, editor of The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition)

Farr has opened new ground in our understanding of the poetry. I find entirely convincing her consideration of the relationships with Hudson River and Luminist painting in the period. (John Wilmerding Princeton University)

Review

I admire [the book's] even temperament...Farr admirably avoids ideological rigidity, even while acknowledging, and adopting, strengihs of particular advocates. Her relating Dickinson to nineteenth-century American art is a major contribution.
--Ralph W. Franklin, editor of the forthcoming variorum Poems of Emily Dickinson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (July 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674656660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674656666
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is one of the better books of critical interpretation of Emily Dickinson. Most of the books about her apart from biographies are so academic they have little appeal to the general reader. This one although long, does not go into literary criticism that becomes incomprehensible. Generally, it is a sensible interpretation of the meaning of Dickinson's poems through paintings of the time. Also considered are some of the references in the poems to popular Victorian literature. Poems themselves although they are emotion, are also in some sense philosophy. So, in this book, the author's exploration of general thought on a topic and then Dickinson's way of exploring it are fascinating. Farr covers some topics that are controversial here like the extent of Dickinson's relationship with Sue Gilbert Dickinson or the mystery of the identity of ''Master''. Whatever anyone's view of these topics, reading this book just to read this author's take on them is silly. This book is worthwhile to read for many other reasons. Fifty times over, this book is worth reading.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By George Davidson on December 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Thirty years ago, I read ED in school, a few poems chosen for high school students, scrubbed by the sensibilities of that time and rural place. My remembered impression was of a strange recluse who wrote of flowers and death. On word of friends, I came to remake her acquaintance, and found passion, unconventional explorations, and wide knowledge of her moment. That a woman so contained in space should flow out through time touches and pauses me. I should like to have known her, to have had her as my friend (by email, or chat?), and been informed of her wider, richer world distilled ever smaller until its circumference reduced me, too; a term between eternity and immortality (ED, you amaze).
Judith Farr has wrought a miracle in bringing ED to me so compellingly (thank you, Judith).
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Format: Paperback
I came to Judith Farr's study of Emily Dickinson in the hope that I would find, in one volume, a biographical account and an investigation of the themes of the poems, to better appreciate their often-elusive meaning and to learn more about her reclusive life. In both aims, this book exceeded my expectations. "The Passion of Emily Dickinson" is wide-ranging in its approach; Farr examines the lives of Dickinson and her friends, offers various thematic approaches to poems, unearths innumerable literary allusions and aesthetic influences, and (best of all) reprints many of the most important poems (and some of the lesser-known ones), explaining both their context and their meaning.

The most valuable and fascinating sections of the book present Farr's analysis of how Dickinson's artistic milieu affected the development of the poems and their meaning, from the influence of the Bible and Shakespeare (particularly "Antony and Cleopatra") to the references to "Jane Eyre" and "Maud." Similarly, Farr's discussion of the elements and themes from the paintings of Thomas Cole and other of the Hudson River School is nothing short of groundbreaking, and it is these sections that will probably change most readers' views and appreciation of many of Dickinson's poems. Farr doesn't claim that Dickinson's verses are simply poetic manifestations of these paintings; instead she finds parallels between the themes in the poems and the subjects of this art (many of which were admired and owned by the Dickinson family members): "Nature is able to provide some of the experience of paradise," concludes Farr.
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By Simone Gad on January 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
am a big fan of emily dickinson and so i really enjoyed this book. i'll have to go back and read it again. am so glad i own it.
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