Title

Symmetrical Womanhood: Poetry in the Woman's Building Library

Document Type

Article

Language

eng

Publication Date

Winter 2006

Publisher

University of Texas Press

Source Publication

Libraries & Culture

Source ISSN

0894-8631

Abstract

Late-nineteenth-century women poets shed midcentury sentimentality unevenly and at some cost, losing a sense of privacy, a (Christian) frame of reference, and an "imagined community" of women who shared their worldview. They also gained more public, secular, and professional sources of identity. The exact nature of this postsentimental self was unclear. Postsentimental poets often wrote in the "genteel tradition," which trumpeted eternal truth and beauty while working from a position of subjective instability. Ultimately, their verses must be seen as powerfully fluid and transitional, registering (like the Woman's Building Library) women's struggle to inhabit more public forms of authority.

Comments

Libraries & Culture, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Winter 2006): 5-34. Permalink.

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