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Poetics of the Feminine : Authority and Literary Tradition in William Carlos Williams, Mina Loy, Denise Levertov, and Kathleen Fraser - Linda A. Kinnahan

Poetics of the Feminine

Authority and Literary Tradition in William Carlos Williams, Mina Loy, Denise Levertov, and Kathleen Fraser

Hardcover Published: 1st March 1994
ISBN: 9780521451277
Number Of Pages: 304

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This book examines the early work of William Carlos Williams in relationship to a woman's tradition of American poetry, as represented by Mina Loy, Denise Levertov and Kathleen Fraser - three generations of women poets working in or directly from a modernist tradition. Linda Kinnahan traces notions of the feminine and the maternal that develop as Williams seeks to create a modern poetics. The impact of first-wave American feminism is examined through an extended analysis of Mina Loy's poetry as a source of a feminist modernism for Williams. Levertov and Fraser are discussed as poetic daughters of Williams who strive to define their voices as women and to reclaim an enabling poetic tradition. In the process, each woman's negotiations with poetic authority and tradition call into question the relationship of poetic father and daughter. Positioning Williams in relation to these three generations of Anglo-American writing within and descending from the modernist movement, the book pursues two questions: what can women poets, writing with an informed awareness of Williams teach us about his modernist poetics of contact, and just as importantly, what can they teach us about the process, for women, of constructing a writing self within a male-dominated tradition?

Introductionp. 1
"The Full of My Freed Voice": Williams and Loy, Feminism and the Femininep. 19
The New Freewoman, the Egoist, and the Femininep. 22
The Feminist Movement, Mina Loy, and Othersp. 43
The Feminine as Resistance to Authorityp. 65
In The American Grain: Proclaiming a Feminine Groundp. 75
A Maternal Model for Traditionp. 78
History's Myth of Discovery: Mastery's "outward thrust"p. 86
The Feminine Ground of Contact: "a moral source not reckoned with"p. 100
Language and the Local: "a woman drawing to herself... myriad points of sound"p. 116
Denise Levertov: The Daughter's Voicep. 125
A Maternal Mode of Authority: "The voice / a wave rising"p. 127
A Discourse in Compassion: "Revolution in the poemp. 150
The Houses of Tradition: "rise up / with changed vision"p. 169
Kathleen Fraser: A Tradition of Marginalityp. 183
Language Innovation and a Feminist Poetics: "to re-write the flood"p. 187
Language Dis-ease: "What structure gagged me?"p. 193
Language, Gender, and Tradition: "inside / (jittery / burned language)"p. 203
Spring and All: New and Hidden Traditionp. 218
Conclusion: Paterson and the Question of Authorityp. 237
Notesp. 248
Bibliographyp. 265
Indexp. 279
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521451277
ISBN-10: 0521451272
Series: Cambridge Teacher Training and Development
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st March 1994
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.06
Weight (kg): 0.62

Earn 490 Qantas Points
on this Book