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Marianne Moore, Subversive Modernist

Myth and misconception have obstructed a clear understanding of the poetry and person of Marianne Moore. In this groundbreaking study, Taffy Martin delves beneath the layers of myth and recaptures the excitement that Moore's contemporaries, particularly William Carlos Williams, felt when they encountered her poetry. She reveals that, far from being a stanch upholder of Modernist order and stasis, Moore continually undermines the stability of her own medium, language. Unlike the writings of other Modernist poets, such as T. S. Eliot, who tried to create islands of order in the seas of twentieth-century fragmentation, Moore's work shows surprising awareness of that fragmentation. In this way, she anticipates the thematic preoccupation of Postmodernist writers and critics. In Marianne Moore, Subversive Modernist, Taffy Martin combines traditional scholarship and contemporary critical theory to create a feminist reading of one of the twentieth century's most difficult poets. In so doing, she places Moore in the tradition of Modernism, defines Moore's quarrels with it, and thus produces a broader understanding of both the poet and the movement. Drawing on Moore's unpublished correspondence, her reading notebooks, and her workbooks, as well as feminist criticism's attention to writers who elude traditional critical approaches, this excellent study provides much-needed insights into the Modernism, life, and art of Marianne Moore.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction Part One. "So Much Color" 1. Portrait of a Writing Master 2. Compact, Subtle Essays 3. The Dial as "Aesthetic Equivalent" Part Two. Cultural Combat 4. "A Reality of Her Own Particulars" Words on the Page: Moore's Rhetoric Inscribed Shards of the Critics: The Use and Abuse of Moore The Subject on Herself: Moore as a Theorist of Her Own Imagination 5. Craftsmanship Disfigured and Restored Selective Vision Gordian Solutions The Ethics of Borrowing 6. "And You Have Smiled" Ironic Deflection Historical Designs Speech and Writing "Words and..." a Smile Notes Index

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