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Emily Dickinson
Suggested Reading

"Publication - is the auction of the Mind of Man"

Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
(Emily Dickinson; Thomas H. Johnson, editor)
Emily Dickinson proved that brevity can be beautiful. Only now is her complete oeuvre--all 1,775 poems--available in its original form, uncorrupted by editorial revision, in one volume. Thomas H. Johnson, a longtime Dickinson scholar, arranged the poems in chronological order as far as could be ascertained (the dates for more than 100 are unknown). This organization allows a wide-angle view of Dickinson's poetic development, from the sometimes-clunky rhyme schemes of her juvenilia, including valentines she wrote in the early 1850s, to the gloomy, hell-obsessed writings from her last years. Quite a difference from requisite Dickinson entries in literary anthologies: "There's a certain Slant of light," "Wild Nights--Wild Nights!" and "I taste a liquor never brewed."

Emily Dickinson: A Collection of Critical Essays
(Judith Farr, editor; Emily Dickinson )
A truly useful collection of literary criticism on a widely studied author, this collection of essays, selected and introduced by a distinguished scholar, makes the most informative and provocative critical work easily available to the general public. KEY TOPICS: Offers volumes of the same excellence for the contemporary moment. Captures and makes accessible the most stimulating critical writing of our time on a crucial literary figure of the past. Also included is an introduction to the author's life and work, a chronology of important dates, and a selected bibliography.

Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson
(Emily Dickinson; Ellen Louise Hart, editor; Martha Nell Smith, editor) )
Emily Dickinson is a figure of intense contradictions: the hermit, the spinster, the frail woman in white who nonetheless wrote poems of almost painfully turbulent passion. For years, biographers have speculated about the male mentor who inspired Dickinson's work, naming intellectual figures like Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Samuel Bowles as possible candidates. As it turns out, however, they might have looked closer to home. For years, both before and after a painful break in their relationship, Dickinson wrote ardent letters to her friend (and eventual sister-in-law) Susan Huntington Dickinson. In fact, she wrote more letters to Susan than to anyone else, despite the fact that at one point Susan lived only a stone's throw away. Like Dickinson's poetry, these letters are a curious business: half epistles, half poems, idiosyncratically capitalized, punctuated, and spaced. They are not merely warm, in the 19th-century way; they are fierce, even erotic, in the kind of attachment they express. Yet editors Ellen Hart and Martha Smith aren't in the business of outing anyone; they prefer to simply present the correspondence in all its passionate oddity. Susan Dickinson was clearly a friend as well as one of the most valued readers of her sister-in-law's poetry--but was she its inspiration, as well? Hart and Smith let the reader decide.

The Life of Emily Dickinson
(Richard Benson Sewall )
Winner of the National Book Award, this massively detailed biography throws a light into the study of the brilliant poet. How did Emily Dickinson, from the small window over her desk, come to see a life that included the horror, exaltation and humor that lives her poetry? With abundance and impartiality, Sewall shows us not just the poet nor the poetry, but the woman and her life


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