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Fifteen years on

Elaine Showalter

20 October 1994
No Man’s Land. Vol. III: Letters from the Front 
by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar.
Yale, 476 pp., £25, October 1994, 0 300 05631 1
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... Fifteen years ago, having published their monumental study of 19th-century women writers, The Madwoman in the Attic, SandraGilbert, poet and professor at the University of California at Davis, and Susan Gubar, professor at Indiana University, planned a sequel: a feminist history of women’s writing in the 20th century. At first ...

Leave off saying I want you to be savages

Sandra Gilbert: D.H. Lawrence

19 March 1998
D.H. Lawrence: Dying Game 1922-30 
by David Ellis.
Cambridge, 814 pp., £25, January 1998, 0 521 25421 3
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... Visiting Perth in May 1922, D.H. Lawrence struck one May Gawlor, who met him at a literary picnic, as a cross between ‘a reddish bearded able-bodied seaman and a handyman at the backdoor’, so that she wondered ‘how this rather shabby, slightly coarse, far from spruce and tidy little man could possibly have caused such a flutter, apart from his books’. Yet he did cause rather more than a flutter ...

Lowellship

John Bayley

17 September 1987
Robert Lowell: Essays on the Poetry 
edited by Steven Gould Axelrod and Helen Deese.
Cambridge, 377 pp., £17.50, June 1987, 0 571 14979 0
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Collected Prose 
by Robert Lowell, edited and introduced by Robert Giroux.
Faber, 269 pp., £27.50, February 1987, 0 521 30872 0
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... way in which academics trained in modern methods have to come to terms with this, and do so with a sometimes grudging admission of continued admiration. ‘To enter any one of the poems,’ writes SandraGilbert, ‘was like entering a darkened, heavily curtained room where someone has been living a very long time with too many family relics. Dusty, sadly factual, sardonically circumstantial, they ...
21 February 1980
Gya/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism 
by Mary Daly.
Women’s Press, 485 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 7043 2829 1
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The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the 19th Century 
by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar.
Yale, 719 pp., £15.75, October 1980, 0 300 02286 7
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Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes 
by Margaret Dickie Uroff.
Illinois, 235 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 252 00734 4
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Women Writing and Writing about Women 
edited by Mary Jacobus.
Croom Helm, 201 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 0 85664 745 4
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... Lawrence felt that Hardy’s Sue Bridehead was ‘no woman’ because ‘that which was female in her she wanted to consume within the male force … in the fire of understanding, of giving utterance. Whereas an ordinary woman knows that she contains all understanding, that she is the unutterable which man must forever continue to try to utter.’ No woman would assent to that last sentence unless ...
16 December 1993
The Modern Language Association of America: Program for the 109th Convention, Vol. 108, No. 6 
November 1993Show More
The Modern Language Association: Job Information List 
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... syllabus in a generally acceptable way. Presidents of the MLA hold office for a year. There are three appropriately distinguished candidates standing for the post this year: Stephen Greenblatt, SandraGilbert and Marjorie Perloff. Their policy declarations make interesting reading. Each accepts there is a crisis – although they disagree as to whether the crisis lies within or outside the ...

No Casket, No Flowers

Thomas Lynch: MacSwiggan’s Ashes

20 April 2006
Committed to the Cleansing Flame: The Development of Cremation in 19th-Century England 
by Brian Parsons.
Spire, 328 pp., £34.95, November 2005, 1 904965 04 0
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... doors by functionaries like me, while family and friends are elsewhere, distanced, if not from the concept of death, then from the corpse. In Death’s Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve, SandraGilbert writes: ‘Predicated on either the tenets of grief therapy or those of spiritualist counselling, peculiarly cheerful do-it-yourself memorial services focus on “celebrations of the life” ...

Fashionable Gore

Katherine Rundell: H. Rider Haggard

2 April 2014
King Solomon’s Mines 
by H. Rider Haggard.
Vintage, 337 pp., £7.99, May 2013, 978 0 09 958282 3
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She 
by H. Rider Haggard.
Vintage, 317 pp., £8.99, May 2013, 978 0 09 958283 0
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... who lived in a cupboard and whom the children both tortured and were haunted by. Read as an embodiment of Victorian neuroses and desires, She is a marvel. There are good feminist interpretations: SandraGilbert and Susan Gubar connect the witch-goddess figure with the newly fierce debates over the rights of women in Victorian England, and the proliferation of semi-scientific studies of woman’s ...

Acrimony

Nina Auerbach: Feminists Fall Out

6 July 2000
Critical Condition: Feminism at the Turn of the Century 
by Susan Gubar.
Columbia, 237 pp., £16, February 2000, 0 231 11580 6
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... 1979, like many others, I became all too ruefully aware of the fact that I hadn’t written The Madwoman in the Attic. Critical Condition modestly elides the impact of The Madwoman (co-authored with SandraGilbert), but its fame has clearly fuelled some of the nastiness Gubar complains of. It isn’t merely that other feminists are jealous of The Madwoman, though we are: even among those who haven’t ...

Amor vincit Vinnie

Marilyn Butler

21 February 1985
Foreign Affairs 
by Alison Lurie.
Joseph, 291 pp., £8.95, January 1985, 0 7181 2516 9
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... up or absence of a personality behind the facade. The cellar harbours a darker figure yet: the madwoman or sinister hag of Charlotte Brontë and Poe – or, according to the recent feminist work of SandraGilbert and Susan Gubar, of women’s writing generally. Lurie incorporates this idea among her other symbolic and literary motifs, leaving them all in the sub-plot and, as it were, in quotation ...

Diary

Kevin Kopelson: Confessions of a Plagiarist

22 May 2008
... I thought. ‘Maybe I’m smart enough. Maybe I’ll like college students – Yalies, at any rate.’ Maybe, moreover, I’d like writing something other than legal memoranda. From having read SandraGilbert and Susan Gubar’s monumental The Madwoman in the Attic, I felt sufficiently ‘imbued with otherness’ to imagine myself doing for sexuality studies what these collaborators – and talk ...

Good enough for Jesus

Charlotte Brewer

25 January 1990
The State of the Language: 1990 Edition 
edited by Christopher Ricks and Leonard Michaels.
Faber, 531 pp., £17.50, January 1990, 9780571141821
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Clichés and Coinages 
by Walter Redfern.
Blackwell, 305 pp., £17.50, October 1989, 0 631 15691 7
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Rhetoric: The Wit of Persuasion 
by Walter Nash.
Blackwell, 241 pp., £25, October 1989, 0 631 16754 4
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... make any headway against langue (the language system)? The problem is exactly analogous to that faced by feminists, and in the section on ‘The Body Politic’ Marina Warner, Hermione Lee and SandraGilbert explore the ways in which women might or do speak and write so as to convey their experience in a way that communicates a female point of view without being disenfranchising. Marina Warner ...

‘Monocled Baron Charged’

David Coward: Vichy’s commissioner for Jewish affairs

8 June 2006
Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family and Fatherland 
by Carmen Callil.
Cape, 614 pp., £20, April 2006, 0 224 07810 0
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... own purposes. Two years later, still with no prospects, he married. Myrtle Jones was born into a farming family in Tasmania in 1893. In 1916, she left home to go on the stage, though neither as ‘Sandra Lindsay’ nor under her own name did she leave any trace in Australia’s theatrical history. In 1923, she married a British-born Gilbert and Sullivan trouper, Roy Workman, and late in 1926 they set ...

The Wives of Herr Bear

Julia Briggs: Jane Harrison

21 September 2000
The Invention of Jane Harrison 
by Mary Beard.
Harvard, 229 pp., £23.50, July 2000, 0 674 00212 1
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... powers and the anger of the vengeful dead. Mary Beard is suspicious of such over-simplifications, however. Hers is an anti-biography, which confronts previous versions of Harrison’s life: Sandra Peacock’s hagiography of 1988, which read the work as determined by personal feeling, and the more scholarly accounts of Robert Ackerman and Hugh Lloyd-Jones which located her ‘at the heart’ of ...

If It Weren’t for Charlotte

Alice Spawls: The Brontës

16 November 2017
... at a defiled and violated Adrianopolis’) but also unfamiliar, intriguing images: a mysterious woman in a darkened hallway, waiting for someone … She often wrote with her eyes closed, which SandraGilbert and Susan Gubar use for their argument that she was ‘essentially a trance writer’. The debate about how ‘instinctive’ (therefore less impressive to some) her process was doesn’t ...

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