By Robert Mcclure Smith, Ellen Weinauer (eds.)
Elizabeth Stoddard used to be a talented author of fiction, poetry, and journalism; effectively released inside of her personal lifetime; esteemed by means of such writers as William Dean Howells and Nathaniel Hawthorne; and located on the epicenter of latest York's literary global. still, she has been virtually excluded from literary reminiscence and value. This ebook seeks to appreciate why. by means of reconsidering Stoddard’s existence and paintings and her present marginal prestige within the evolving canon of yank literary reviews, it increases vital questions on women’s writing within the nineteenth century and canon formation within the twentieth century.
Essays during this learn find Stoddard within the context of her contemporaries, corresponding to Dickinson and Hawthorne, whereas others situate her paintings within the context of significant 19th-century cultural forces and concerns, between them the Civil struggle and Reconstruction, race and ethnicity, anorexia and feminine invalidism, nationalism and localism, and incest. One essay examines the improvement of Stoddard's paintings within the gentle of her biography, and others probe her stylistic and philosophic originality, the journalistic roots of her voice, and the elliptical topics of her brief fiction. Stoddard’s lifelong undertaking to articulate the character and dynamics of woman's subjectivity, her difficult therapy of woman urge for food and should, and her depiction of the complicated and sometimes ambivalent relationships that white middle-class ladies needed to their family areas also are thoughtfully considered.
The editors argue that the overlook of Elizabeth Stoddard's contribution to American literature is a compelling instance of the contingency of serious values and the instability of literary background. This research asks the query, Will Stoddard endure?” Will she proceed to float into oblivion or will a brand new new release of readers and critics safe her tenuous legacy?
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Elizabeth Stoddard used to be a proficient author of fiction, poetry, and journalism; effectively released inside her personal lifetime; esteemed by way of such writers as William Dean Howells and Nathaniel Hawthorne; and positioned on the epicenter of latest York's literary global. still, she has been nearly excluded from literary reminiscence and significance.
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Additional resources for American Culture, Canons, and the Case of Elizabeth Stoddard
A strong individualist, she has always been cited for the uniqueness of her personality and her work. William Dean Howells said that “in whatever she did she left the stamp of a talent like no other, and of a personality disdainful of literary environment” (Literary Friends 77). ” And she was at odds with the prevailing women’s literary traditions, though her work bears the traces of several. In a period when the voices of most American women writers were raised publicly about subjects like the cultivation of religious and familial feeling, education, domesticity, the representation of communities, and public reform, her most compelling project was to articulate the nature and dynamics of a woman’s subjectivity.
Allison-Shelley Collection, Pennsylvania State U Libraries. By permission. 7. Letter from Elizabeth Stoddard to Margaret Sweat, 4 June 1853. AllisonShelley Collection, Pennsylvania State U Libraries. By permission. 8. Their close friend Edmund Clarence Stedman described it thus: “Their loves and hates were, without exception, the same—right or wrong, and often although they were wrong, each espoused the other’s cause, and favoritisms. . Each could say of the other: I do not love Heathcliff, I am Heathcliff ” (qtd.
Consequently, an attempt to establish Stoddard as one of the pivotal American writers of the nineteenth century, a veritable return of the repressed, necessarily complicates our understanding of women’s literature in this period. In seeking to effect that complication, this volume makes an initial gesture toward a more comprehensively gendered reading of nineteenth-century women’s literature and the literary history it has made. The measure of its success will be its provocation to future inquiry.