Monday, 16 March 2009

The unpinnable Emily Dickinson...


I am hugely grateful to Kathryn Sutherland, Professor of English at Oxford University (and whose wisdom and writing is always inspirational) for telling me about the following site on Emily Dickinson's manuscripts. It is completely magical... Professor Sutherland brought it to my attention, after reading yesterday's Bibliotherapy column; she asked me if I knew Dickinson's poems that were written on torn pieces of paper to be assembled and endlessly reassembled in different ways, and I said, 'please, tell me more'. Once you've found the site, keep clicking on the dress-making pins, which will take you to any number of different places...

10 comments:

kairu said...

It sounds intriguing. I just realized, Justine, that it's been nearly fifteen years since I last read Dickinson as a high-school student, Carla Bruni notwithstanding. Again you have brought me back towards a writer I have read in the past and then abandoned, and I love it.

Justine Picardie said...

Thanks for your message,and let me know what you think of the trail of dress pins...

Gondal-girl said...

That is amazing Justine, thanks for posting. As part of her process it is intriguing, a robust assemblage, makes more sense than the outworn she was a 19C madwoman....

hope the Chanel research is going well

Justine Picardie said...

Yes, it seems to rescues her from the attic, doesn't it? As you say, she emerges as more robust than the mythic madwoman in white, hidden away in her father's house.

kairu said...

I found in a used bookstore a book called The Lyman Letters: New Light on Emily Dickinson and Her Family, by Richard B. Sewall. Published in 1965, it contains excerpts of letters written between Joseph Bardwell Lyman and various memories of the Dickinson family (to whom he was distantly related), including several excerpts of letters from Emily that he copied (apparently for his fiancée). It promises to make interesting reading.

Gondal-girl said...

I bought a copy of her Collected Letters in Paris a few years ago. She has a kind quirky compassion and intelligence that is very different from the poems. Worth reading...

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