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Lyric Contingencies

Lyric Contingencies
Emily Dickinson and Wallace Stevens

Margaret Dickie

192 pages | 6 x 9
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512801651 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

"An original contribution. . . . Dickie provides fresh avenues of approach both to the poetry and to the critical tradition. . . . Her procedure throughout yields surprising, fresh meanings in this crowded terrain. . . . Exceptionally well-written—sometimes ravishing."—Diane Wood Middlebrook
In Lyric Contingencies Margaret Dickie brings Wallace Stevens and Emily Dick­inson together to explore the ways in which the lyric genre is eccentric to, even disruptive of, the Emersonian tradition that has shaped American literary history. Dickie contends that although Stevens and Dickinson represent different moments of cultural crises, different genders, and different and private lives, they faced similar problems of expression and similar formal and cultural restraints in their devotion to the lyric genre.

Dickie considers those elements of the lyric that set it apart from both prose and narrative poetry: its speaker, its insistence on artifice, and its relation to an audience. By concentrating on these, she examines the radically experimental ways in which Dickinson and Stevens used the genre to question cultural certainties of gender, language, and the nature of the individual.

Margaret Dickie is Helen S. Lanier Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Georgia.

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