Imagining Incest: Sexton, Plath, Rich, and Olds on Life with Daddy

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Susquehanna University Press, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 165 pages
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Imagining Incest examines daughter-father relations as depicted in the poetry of Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, and Sharon Olds. Swiontkowski demonstrates a progression in these relations from daughter as victim of the father in Sexton and Plath to daughter as rebel against the father in Rich to daughter as successor to the father in Olds. Each poet utilizes the poetic motif of incest in varying degrees to convey this developing relationship, and Swiontkowski shows that the struggles and triumphs inherent in this imagined relationship parallel many of the issues raised in the recent social crisis of recovered memories. Imagining Incest thus casts light on a painful social issue and extends the hope that comparing these four women poets demonstrates that women who have suffered under the tyranny of a patriarchal system can rebel and overcome by confronting and redefining the incestuous nature of their relations with the fathers of society.

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Contents

Some Cautions and Many Thanks
9
Anne Sexton Sylvia Plath and the Allure of Incest
31
A Modern History of Incest from Inside Out
57
Copyright

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References to this book

Sylvia Plath
Harold Bloom
Snippet view - 2007

About the author (2003)

Gale Swiontkowski is Associate Professor of English at Fordham University in the Bronx.

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