âJust one of / the girls:â / normal in the extremeâ Alice Notley, Mary Oliver, Robert Pinsky, Mark Strand, James Tate, John Wieners, and Charles Wright, generally remained outside or on the borders of recognized artistic movements. The three poets I will discuss, all of whom are noted experimentalists now, were born between 1935 and 1940, and they all began publishing in the 1960s. That these poets are women lends an additional betweenness to their historical situation: a betweenness in relation to American feminism. They began their careers after the deadly gender oppressions of the 1950s had been exposed, but before the full ï¬owering of the womenâs movement in the seventies. They had Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir to read, and consciousness-raising groups were certainly ï¬ourishing, but womenâs liberation was in its early stages in the sixties. When conjuring that decade, we tend to think of social and sexual liberation, alternative lifestyles, countercultural values, and tumultuous political activism. We think of an era of transformation and extremism, making it easy to overlook the strong thread of ï¬ fties conformity extending into the period as well. For women, the ideals of ï¬ fties normality were still powerfully present,
differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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