Abandoned Women and Poetic Tradition

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University of Chicago Press, Sep 15, 1988 - Literary Criticism - 300 pages
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At the heart of poetic tradition is a figure of abandonment, a woman forsaken and out of control. She appears in writings ancient and modern, in the East and the West, in high art and popular culture produced by women and by men. What accounts for her perennial fascination? What is her function—in poems and for writers? Lawrence Lipking suggests many possibilities. In this figure he finds a partial record of women's experience, an instrument for the expression of religious love and yearning, a voice for psychological fears, and, finally, a model for the poet. Abandoned women inspire new ways of reading poems and poetic tradition.

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Contents

Ariadne at the Wedding Abandoned Women and Poetic Tradition
1
Lord Byrons Secret The School of Abandonment
32
Sappho Descending Abandonment through the Ages
57
Sappho Descending Abandonment to the Present
97
The Rape of the Sibyl Male Poets and Abandoned Women
127
Could I be like her? The Example of Women Alone
170
Aristotles Sister A Poetics of Abandonment
209
Notes and Glosses
229
Index
289
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About the author (1988)

Lawrence Lipking, the Chester D. Tripp Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University, is an editor of the Norton Anthology of English Literature and author of The Ordering of the Arts in Eighteenth-Century England and The Life of the Poet, which is published by the University of Chicago Press.

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