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This collection of essays focuses exclusively on the contribution of American woman to the writing of autiobiography. The authors trace editions of women's life-writing through three and a half centuries, from the narratives of Puritan woman to contemporary multicultural literature. Contributers to the volume include scholars such as: Sidonie Smith, Catharine Stimpson, Ann Gordon, Mary Mason, Nancy Walker, Katheleen Sands, Arlyn Diamond and others whose essays all appear here for the first time. Reflecting recent theoretical approaches to autiobiography, these essays draw upon work in literature, history, American studies and religion, and treat both canonical writers of autobiography - Harriet Jacobs, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gertrude Stein, Mary McCarthy, Maxine Hong Kingston and others - as well as lesser known and unknown writers. Through these lives we are offered a glimpse of the wider worlds of which they were a part, including the abolition and suffrage movements, western frontier life and the struggle for civil rights in the 20th century. In her introduction, Margo Culley traces the dominant tradition of American women's autiobiography back to the Puritan practice of reading the self. Writing as women and expecting to be judged as such, authors from all periods exhibit ambivalence about the first person singular, yet give themselves permission to write in the hope that their stories will be useful to others, particularly other women. Such purpose allows these writers to indulge all the pleasures of autobiography - pleasures of language and imagination, of narrative, of reminiscence, and even egotism. Together these essays explore gender and genre as culturally inscribed, the construction of self within language systems, the nature of female subjectivity, and the shaping forces of memory and narrative as writers engage in the making of meaning and the making of history. Grounded in the multicultural reality that is America, these essays aim to celebrate women's lives, women's autobiographical writing (including criticism), and the fea(s)ts of reading women's writing.
Originally published in 1959, Advertisements for Myself is an inventive collection of stories, essays, polemic, meditations, and interviews. It is Mailer at his brilliant, provocative, outrageous best. Emerging at the height of hip, Advertisements is at once a chronicle of a crucial era in the formation of modern American culture and an important contribution to the great autobiographical tradition in American letters.
From 1837 to 1861 Thoreau kept a Journal that began as a conventional record of ideas, grew into a writer's notebook, and eventually became the principal imaginative work of his career. The source of much of his published writing, the Journal is also a record of both his interior life and his monumental studies of the natural history of his native Concord, Massachusetts. In contrast to earlier editions, the Princeton Edition reproduces the Journal in its original and complete form, in a reading text that is free of editorial interpolations but keyed to a comprehensive scholarly apparatus. Despite activities as time-consuming and varied as urveying for the town of Concord and helping a fugitive slave escape to Canada, Thoreau wrote nearly eight hundred manuscript pages in his Journal during the eight months covered by this volume. Confirmed in his vocation as a natural historian, he began to compile the richly detailed records of Concord's woods, fields, and streams that would occupy him for the rest of his life, and he consciously shaped the Journal to reflect his new aims as a writer. He also began major revisions of his Walden that would lead to its publication in 1854.
Emerging from the South American wilderness after adventures related in The Incredible Voyage, Tristan Jones finally makes it home to Britain to find his vessel, the tiny, nearly indestructible Sea Dart, impounded by customs officials because he cannot pay the import tax. In his quest for the means to liberate his boat, he takes any work he can get:stoking the boilers at Harrod's, regaling TV talk show viewers with wild stories, and in New York skippering one-day around the lighthouse cruises.
Lady Anne Conway was a remarkable woman who became a philosopher in her own right at a time when most women were denied even basic education. The Conway Letters is the record of her friendship with the Cambridge Platonist, Henry More, which began when he acted as her unofficial tutor in philosophy and lasted until her death. The letters cover a wide range of topics - personal, philosophical, religious, and social. They give a detailed picture of the More-Conway circle, including such figures as Jeremy Taylor, Ralph Cudworth, Robert Boyle, and Francis Mercury van Helmont, as well as Lady Conway's Quaker associates, George Keith and William Penn. The letters are thus a valuable source for mid-seventeenth-century history, and especially for the intellectual history of the period. This revised edition reprints all the letters from the original 1930 edition, together with Marjorie Nicolson's biographical account of Anne Conway and Henry More. A new appendix contains some important letters not included in the first edition, among them the early discussion of Cartesianism. The introduction by Sarah Hutton sets the book in the context of recent scholarship.
The idea of communication or community pervades everything I've written . So concluded the poet David Ignatow - from his perspective as a septuagenarian - in a 1985 letter to his literary executor, Roy Harvey Pearce. For this poet, staying in touch with his colleagues and editors through written correspondence amounted to an affirmation of his own existence. Spanning nearly four-and-a-half decades of communication, a collection of David Ignatow's letters has now been compiled and edited by poet and critic Gary Pacernick, one of Ignatow's recent correspondents. Pacernick's compilation, Talking Together , traces the poet's career from his youthful stance as a working-man-poet, through his gradual midlife recognition by his fellow artists as a voice of distinction, and on through his establishment as an important contemporary poet. Written for the most part at post-breakfast sittings and addressed with remarkable regularity to such well-known recipients as William Carlos Williams and Ralph J. Mills, Jr, the letters demonstrate, for Ignatow, an otherwise unseen range of human emotion, adding an important new dimension to his published work. With their straightforward portraits of the commonplace, the poems of David Ignatow can be deceptively simple. If his harshest critics have failed to discern the underlying complexity of his work, then Pacernick's compilation does much to reveal the poet's intricate but controlled thought processes, unravelling through a series of letters that are admirable in their own right for their unimpeded flow and cadence. By attempting to create a community of writers with whom he shares the details and nuances of his existence, Ignatow has survived in an indifferent, if not hostile, environment. The letters show the private man, the writer, in communication with other writers, fighting against loneliness, frustration, jealousy, and rage, through the form of sharing and sustenance that these letters become. In addition, the letters provide an intimate portrait of the poet's career from his first attempts at recognition to later success. The reader shares Ignatow's thoughts, feelings, and insights about his own poetry and the poetry and criticism of his contemporaries, as well as his views on such major American writers as Whitman, Dickinson, Emerson, Stevens, Williams, Eliot, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway. He also has fascinating things to say about the art and craft of poetry. Although there is much to learn here about literary culture as well as what some refer to as po-biz - the poetry business - the letters have a deeper level that is concerned with the emotional and spiritual life of the artist. While never hiding his doubts, fears, and frustrations, Ignatow is revealed to us as a person with a consuming interest in seeking the truth in life and literature.
Here is young Sam Clemens - in the world, getting famous, making love - in 155 magnificently edited letters that trace his remarkable self-transformation from a footloose, irreverent West Coast journalist to a popular lecturer and author of The Jumping Frog , soon to be a national and international celebrity. And on the move he was - from San Francisco to New York, to St. Louis, and then to Paris, Naples, Rome, Athens, Constantinople, Yalta, and the Holy Land; back to New York and on to Washington; back to San Francisco and Virginia City; and, on to lecturing in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York. Resplendent with wit, love of life, ambition, and literary craft, this new volume in the wonderful Bancroft Library edition of Mark Twain's Letters will delight and inform both scholars and general readers. This volume has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mark Twain Foundation, Jane Newhall, and The Friends of The Bancroft Library.
'Don't scold me, Livy - let me pay my due homage to your worth; let me honor you above all women; let me love you with a love that knows no doubt, no question - for you are my world, my life, my pride, my all of earth that is worth the having'. These are the words of Samuel Clemens in love. Playful and reverential, jubilant and despondent, they are filled with tributes to his fiancee Olivia Langdon and with promises faithfully kept during a thirty-four-year marriage. The 188 superbly edited letters gathered here show Samuel Clemens having few idle moments in 1869. When he was not relentlessly 'banged about from town to town' on the lecture circuit or busily revising The Innocents Abroad , the book that would make his reputation, he was writing impassioned letters to Olivia. These letters, the longest he ever wrote, make up the bulk of his correspondence for the year and are filled with his acute wit and dazzling language. This latest volume of Mark Twain's Letters captures Clemens on the verge of becoming the celebrity and family man he craved to be. This volume has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and by a major donation to the Friends of The Bancroft Library from the Pareto Fund.
Drawing on the life stories of Native Americans solicited by historians during the 19th century and, later, by anthropologists concerned with amplifying the cultural record, Arnold Krupat examines the Indian autobiography as a specific genre of American writing.
All students and scholars are curious about the human faces behind the impersonal rhetoric of academic disciplines. Here twenty of America's most prominent sociologists recount the intellectual and biographical events that shaped their careers. Family history, ethnicity, fear, private animosities, extraordinary determination, and sometimes plain good fortune are among the many forces that combine to mold the individual talents presented in Authors of Their Own Lives. With contributions from women and men, young and old, native-born Americans and immigrants, quantitative scholars and qualitative ones, this book provides a fascinating source for students and professional sociologists alike. Some of the autobiographies maintain their reserve, others are profoundly revealing. Their subjects range from childhood, educational, and intellectual influences, to academic careerism and burnout, to the history of American sociology. Authors stands alone as a deeply personal autobiographical account of contemporary sociology.