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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 ...

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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... having published their monumental study of 19th-century women writers, The Madwoman in the Attic, Sandra Gilbert, 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, they expected to complete it in just a few ...

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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... sometimes grudging admission of continued admiration. ‘To enter any one of the poems,’ writes Sandra Gilbert, ‘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 were like endless anecdotes told by an ancient ...

Learning to speak

Gay Clifford, 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 she wanted to end up a white goddess, or an ordinary white elephant ...

The Annual MLA Disaster

John Sutherland, 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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... three appropriately distinguished candidates standing for the post this year: Stephen Greenblatt, Sandra Gilbert 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 profession. Greenblatt echoes Clinton’s ‘It’s 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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... concept of death, then from the corpse. In Death’s Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve, Sandra Gilbert 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” of the “departed” rather than the pain that his ...

Fashionable Gore

Katherine Rundell: H. Rider Haggard, 3 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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... Victorian neuroses and desires, She is a marvel. There are good feminist interpretations: Sandra Gilbert 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 ‘true nature’. With or without this ...

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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... the Attic. Critical Condition modestly elides the impact of The Madwoman (co-authored with Sandra Gilbert), 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 read it, the book has come to represent the field in ...

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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... or sinister hag of Charlotte Brontë and Poe – or, according to the recent feminist work of Sandra Gilbert 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-marks. The nuanced and naturalistically-observed ...

Diary

Kevin Kopelson: Confessions of a Plagiarist, 22 May 2008

... Maybe, moreover, I’d like writing something other than legal memoranda. From having read Sandra Gilbert 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 about walking together! – had done for ...

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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... faced by feminists, and in the section on ‘The Body Politic’ Marina Warner, Hermione Lee and Sandra Gilbert 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 writes of ‘Fighting Talk’, the ...

‘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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... 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 out for Europe ...

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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... 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 the (so-called) Cambridge Ritualists. Reluctant to offer ...

If It Weren’t for Charlotte

Alice Spawls: The Brontës, 16 November 2017

... woman in a darkened hallway, waiting for someone … She often wrote with her eyes closed, which Sandra Gilbert 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 seem to me to be the best way of evaluating the ...

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