By William May
A full-length learn of the British novelist, poet, and illustrator Stevie Smith (1902-1971), this ebook attracts on wide archival fabric to supply new insights into her paintings, difficult traditional readings of her as an eccentric. It unearths the cautious keep an eye on with which she controlled her public personality, reassesses her allusive poetry within the mild of her personal conflicted reaction to written texts, and lines her simultaneous preoccupation with and worry of her analyzing public. William may possibly considers the impact of artists resembling George Grosz and Aubrey Beardsley on her it seems that artless illustrations and explores her use of fiction and ebook reports as a fashion of producing contexts for her poetry, delivering readers a desirable in-depth examine that not just noticeably alters our figuring out of Smith and her paintings, yet offers new views on British twentieth-century poetry and its reception.
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Additional info for Stevie Smith and Authorship (Oxford English Monographs)
1–4) Twas the voice of the Wanderer, I heard her exclaim, You have weaned me too soon, you must nurse me again, (‘The Wanderer’, CP 257, ll. 1–2) Struggling in my father’s hands Striving against my swaddling bands, Bound and weary, I thought best, To sulk upon my mother’s breast. (‘Infant Sorrow’, ll. 38 Smith’s continual assertions that her literary heritage gives her only a series of techniques or various scraps and fragments which she throws together with little regard for their provenance is not borne out by this brief exploration of her allusions.
If by elucidating her allusions Smith might be able to contain and inhibit the troubling vagaries of the ‘fullknowing reader’, what keeps Smith so quiet on the question of their provenance? 21 Here, the orphan of the title travels the world searching for the same, bemoaning her lot and dismissing a series of potential candidates as she goes: The orphan is looking for parents She roams the world over Looking for parents and cover. She looks at this pair and that Cries, Father, Mother, Likes these, does not like those, Stays for a time; goes.
Drugs Made Pauline Vague’, CP 264, l. 7) The resplendent beauty of a woman whose ‘calm simplicity of grace’33 exemplifies her native Italy in Browning’s ‘The Italian in England’ is rebuffed in ‘Feminine Charm’, where Smith rejects her for an unremarkable British counterpart: O never girl beneath the skies of Italy Or maiden singing in the vales of Sicily Or matron carding wool in Thessaly Or skivvy washing up in Beverley Gave man such joy as Bessie, Bessie Leigh, Daughter of Mr and Mrs Leigh.