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Constance Fenimore Woolson's Nineteenth Century: Essays (review)

Constance Fenimore Woolson's Nineteenth Century: Essays (review) Overall, Messmer's coverage of the questions she raises remains too diffuse. A Vice for Voices would have benefited from fewer generalizations and more concentrated discussions. For example, how can we illuminate specific relationships between "poems" and "prose" in a set of letters to Holland? Readers need thorough examinations of manuscript clusters, that is, linked documents--such as a letter read with its enclosed poem, and with different versions of the same poem sent to another recipient, found among ungathered poems, or bound into a "fascicle." Such a rich set of texts represents an opportunity for a sustained discussion that draws out a poststructuralist, feminist analysis, models a Bakhtinian approach, and teaches readers ways of subverting artificially defined genre and finding art in Dickinson's correspondence. However, Messmer does not avail herself of such an opportunity, and too many avenues remain unexplored in the book as a whole. Nonetheless Messmer's work can help Dickinson scholarship continue to move in these fruitful and much needed directions. Constance Fenimore Woolson's Nineteenth Century: Essays. Edited by Victoria Brehm. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2001. 255 pp. $39.95. Reviewed by Joan Weimer, Drew University This excellent collection of fourteen essays justifies the editor's claim that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Legacy University of Nebraska Press

Constance Fenimore Woolson's Nineteenth Century: Essays (review)

Legacy , Volume 20 (1) – Nov 18, 2003

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 The University of Nebraska.
ISSN
1534-0643
Publisher site
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Abstract

Overall, Messmer's coverage of the questions she raises remains too diffuse. A Vice for Voices would have benefited from fewer generalizations and more concentrated discussions. For example, how can we illuminate specific relationships between "poems" and "prose" in a set of letters to Holland? Readers need thorough examinations of manuscript clusters, that is, linked documents--such as a letter read with its enclosed poem, and with different versions of the same poem sent to another recipient, found among ungathered poems, or bound into a "fascicle." Such a rich set of texts represents an opportunity for a sustained discussion that draws out a poststructuralist, feminist analysis, models a Bakhtinian approach, and teaches readers ways of subverting artificially defined genre and finding art in Dickinson's correspondence. However, Messmer does not avail herself of such an opportunity, and too many avenues remain unexplored in the book as a whole. Nonetheless Messmer's work can help Dickinson scholarship continue to move in these fruitful and much needed directions. Constance Fenimore Woolson's Nineteenth Century: Essays. Edited by Victoria Brehm. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2001. 255 pp. $39.95. Reviewed by Joan Weimer, Drew University This excellent collection of fourteen essays justifies the editor's claim that

Journal

LegacyUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Nov 18, 2003

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