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Title:Discoverers of the Not-Known: Louise Bogan, Muriel Rukeyser, Sylvia Plath, May Swenson, and Adrienne Rich
Author(s):Bridgford, Kim Suzanne
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dickie, Margaret,
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Modern
Women's Studies
Literature, American
Abstract:In our culture men have traditionally been presented as the adventurers, the discoverers; all we need do is look at the prototypic adventurer, Ulysses, who sailed the seas and waged battles while Penelope stayed home weaving. What happens, though, when women want to be discoverers? Louise Bogan, Muriel Rukeyser, Sylvia Plath, May Swenson, and Adrienne Rich not only express that wish but break new poetic ground as they turn away from the forms and subject matter of their brother artists and show what it means to be a women as well as an artist. They are, in the words of H.D., "voyagers, discoverers/of the not-known,/the unrecorded."
This dissertation explores the unique position of these five women poets as insiders and outsiders. As artists, they were considered to be a part of the artistic brotherhood and were used to questioning authority, the establishment, and conventional life. As women, though, they could never be "brothers," but were instead considered shadowy figures meant to trail the forms and ideas of their literary brethren. They were given encouragement as long as they followed demurely the path established by the fathers. But these poets all reached a point where this was impossible. With the power of artists--Sylvia Plath called it the power of God--these women through female speakers articulate feelings of entrapment, suffocation, and betrayal--at least at first. Increasingly these poets use their own voice as they grow to realize that they have a right to present poems of their own experience. Ultimately they create new forms to express their womanly subject matter.
Issue Date:1988
Description:362 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8908629
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1988

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