Emily Dickinson's gothic: goblin with a gauge

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University of Iowa Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 225 pages
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Emily Dickinson's Gothic, the first full length study of Dickinson as a primarily gothic writer, is based upon a recognition of women's gothicism. Daneen Wardrop develops first a definition of the female gothic by reading Helene Cixous reading Freud reading E. T. A. Hoffmann on the uncanny. The result is a language based model for the gothic that exposes some of Dickinson's most encrypted figurations and coerced language, which she used to subvert cultural norms. Emily Dickinson's Gothic also addresses sociohistorical concerns, from hallowed gothic conventions dating from Horace Walpole's eighteenth century to such modernist neogothic topics as rape, the void, and disjunctive language that appear in the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Wardrop recognizes the full extent to which the gothic pervades Dickinson's canon and the means by which that gothic determines her aesthetic. Such full consideration of women's gothicism allows the placement of Dickinson within a literary context, both in terms of American writers and in terms of women writers.

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