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Author McDonald, Russell C
Title Modernism and cross-gender collaboration: W. B. Yeats, Marianne Moore, and D. H. Lawrence
Descript 274 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 68-02, Section: A, page: 0566
Adviser: George J. Bornstein
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Michigan, 2007
From T. S. Eliot's description of a bisexual Tiresias as the unifying voice of The Waste Land to Virginia Woolf's theory of the androgynous mind in A Room of One's Own, some of the most influential modernist works imagine knowledge originating from a combination of male and female consciousness. Yet scholars have largely overlooked the extent to which modernist men and women wrote, designed, and published texts together. This study argues that such "cross-gender collaboration" played an important role in modernist efforts to revitalize art. It combines analysis of writers' manuscripts, letters, and the design features of their texts with close attention to the biographical and psychological contexts of literary production to show how the modernists used material textuality as a vehicle for exploring the creative potential of gender difference and to challenge the dominant conception of authorship as a solitary phenomenon
Chapter 1 traces modernist cross-gender collaboration to several late-nineteenth-century efforts to improve men and women's understanding of each other. It then explores how different kinds of inequality made such collaboration difficult. Chapter 2 focuses on W. B. Yeats's partnerships with his early book designer Althea Gyles, his patron Lady Gregory, and his wife George Yeats, arguing that Yeats's fixation on sexual energy and desire to put irrationality to practical use became central to his goal of achieving ultimate harmony through "Unity of Being." Chapter 3 focuses on Marianne Moore's cultivation of a gender-inclusive "extended family" of collaborative partners in her publication of the poem "Marriage," her editing of The Dial, and her correspondence with the illustrator George Plank in shaping her important volume The Pangolin and Other Verse. Finally, chapter 4 shows how D. H. Lawrence's hyper-masculine fiction gained much of its vitality from the contributions of his women collaborators, including his adolescent sweetheart Jessie Chambers on Sons and Lovers, his wife Frieda Lawrence on Women in Love, and the Australian novelist Mollie Skinner on The Boy in the Bush. These case studies help transform our understanding of modernism by revealing how deeply imbued gender conflict was in the dialogic structures of modernist texts
School code: 0127
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 68-02A
Subject Literature, Modern
Literature, American
Literature, English
Alt Author University of Michigan
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