January 20th, 2011
I think I kind of gave Messmer’s article the shaft without meaning to because we got carried away with other things the day it was assigned. Before we leave it too far behind, I wanted to open a place for people to discuss it. Messmer traces critical reception of Dickinson, from early discrepancy between assessments of her genius and apologies for/dismissals of her irregular forms and poor grammar; to biographical studies and a quest to define her elusive (male) lover; to a New Critical focus on close reading of the lyrics; to feminist, psychoanalytic, and linguistic readings of Dickinson’s themes and use of language; to an interest in the materiality of the manuscripts and the fascicles and in the genres of the Dickinson’s writings. Was there anything that particularly interested or surprised you in this survey of her reception?