Susan Eilenberg

Susan Eilenberg, who teaches at the State University of New York at Buffalo, is the author of Strange Power of Speech: Wordsworth, Coleridge and Literary Possession.

Emily v. Mabel: Emily Dickinson

Susan Eilenberg, 30 June 2011

One need not be a Chamber – to be Haunted – One need not be a House – The Brain has Corridors – surpassing Material Place –

‘All men say “What” to me,’ Emily Dickinson wrote in a letter to Thomas Wentworth Higginson. She certainly mystified Higginson. He never entirely overcame his uneasiness about her odd, disjunctive words and...

They had heard that we were great Philosophers, and expected much from us, one of the first questions that they askd was, when it would thunder.

Joseph Banks, The ‘Endeavour’ Journal

Richard Holmes describes The Age of Wonder as a ‘relay race of scientific stories’ about the explosion of exploration and scientific achievement in England between two celebrated...

I managed to grow up and leave home before I found out that my mother had once spent time in a mental ward. She was, at the time of her hospitalisation, a very new mother – of me – and consequently exhausted. What sent her to the mental ward was delirium. That, at least, was what the emergency room doctors thought when she arrived at the hospital extremely ill with encephalitis...

Baggy and Thin: Annie Dillard

Susan Eilenberg, 3 January 2008

Patience has been the matter of Annie Dillard’s writing for thirty years and more: patience and watchfulness and humility, together with a good deal of meditation (some of it conducted while crouched ‘mute as a photographic plate’, waiting for some small stalked creature to put aside its alarm and show itself on a chilly mudbank or in midgey thickets in Virginia or the...

Bite It above the Eyes: ‘Mister Pip’

Susan Eilenberg, 4 October 2007

As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them . . . my first fancies regarding what they were like were unreasonably derived from their tombstones. The shape of the letters on my father’s gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, ‘Also Georgiana...

Wordsworth and the Well-Hidden Corpse

Marilyn Butler, 6 August 1992

‘The best-known publication date in English literature,’ says Michael Mason of 1798. But the terse, intelligent Introduction to his new edition of the Lyrical Ballads seems out to...

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