By Fanny Fern
In Ruth Hall, one of many bestselling novels of the 1850s, Fanny Fern drew seriously on her personal reports: the demise of her first baby and her loved husband, a sour estrangement from her family members, and her fight to make a residing as a author. Written as a sequence of brief vignettes and snatches of overheard conversations, it's as unconventional well-liked as in substance and strikingly glossy in its influence.
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Extra info for Ruth Hall: A Domestic Tale of the Present Time (Penguin Classics)
Duncan suggests that poetic language – our now apparently anachronistic “delite” – acquires authenticity from the act of speaking against the language of war and thereby exposes the necessary “ﬂaw” in an otherwise impeccably circular logic. As for Stein, the “ﬂaw” is produced not just by seeing war but by seeing it through writing, an optic which also, as the Language poets would later conﬁrm, allows us to see the writing itself. The assumptions at work here, shared in different ways by poets such as Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, George Oppen, and Louis Zukofsky, return us inevitably to the primary inﬂuence all four shared – Ezra Pound – who, when Duncan wrote these lines, was conﬁned in St Elizabeth’s hospital, pending his eventual ﬁtness to stand trial for treason.
New York: New Directions. Levinas, Emmanuel (1969). Totality and Inﬁnity: An Essay on Exteriority, trans. Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press. MacLeish, Archibald (1933). Poems 1924–1933. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifﬂin Company. McAleavey, David (1985). “The Oppens: Remarks Towards Biography,” Ironwood, 26: 309–18. Mersmann, James F. (1974). Out of the Vietnam Vortex: A Study of Poets and Poetry Against the War. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Merton, Thomas (1969).
Indeed, with World War II, it was the very question of distancing which became for many writers a primary concern. How and from where do we see a war? This is one of the conundrums posed by Gertrude Stein’s Wars I Have Seen, ﬁrst published in 1945. It’s a title quite devoid of hyperbole: Stein was born in 1874, and her lifetime, as she reminds us, spanned the Spanish–American War, the Russo-Japanese War, the Boer War, the Chinese–Japanese War, the two Balkan wars, the Abyssinian War, the Spanish Civil War, as well as the two world wars (Stein 1945: 43, 64, 72).