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Obsession and release : rereading the poetry of Louise Bogan

Author: Lee Upton
Publisher: Lewisburg : Bucknell University Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1996.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This study argues for a new reading of Bogan, whose complex position in regard to gender makes her one of the most provocative of the major modernists. Lee Upton analyzes the ways in which Bogan's poetry reflects unconscious processes marked by women's experiences, and she also explores both the implicit and the explicit violence that the poems embody in their opposition to psychological and social constraints.  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Upton, Lee, 1953-
Obsession and release.
Lewisburg : Bucknell University Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, ©1996
(OCoLC)604846878
Named Person: Louise Bogan; Louise Bogan; Louise Bogan; Louise Bogan
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Lee Upton
ISBN: 0838753213 9780838753217
OCLC Number: 34046800
Description: 170 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Violence and difference: Body of this death --
Repression and secrecy: Dark summer --
Recognition of the maternal: The sleeping fury --
Imagining release: The later poems.
Responsibility: Lee Upton.

Abstract:

This study argues for a new reading of Bogan, whose complex position in regard to gender makes her one of the most provocative of the major modernists. Lee Upton analyzes the ways in which Bogan's poetry reflects unconscious processes marked by women's experiences, and she also explores both the implicit and the explicit violence that the poems embody in their opposition to psychological and social constraints. Rather than a repressed poet as she is figured in much contemporary criticism, Bogan is seen as self-consciously studying repression in poems of extreme confrontation, reflecting an aesthetic of difference, and intimating the workings of the unconscious. Upton argues that Bogan based her authority on her allegiance to the subversive unconscious rather than on cultural law. Upton investigates Bogan's themes of obsession and release, among the primary psychic activities that her poetry charts. Obsession is portrayed as excessive preoccupation with betrayal in love and psychological engulfment, particularly as it is embodied in an unnamed force and culturally positioned to deny the female poet's "breath," and thus her art. In Bogan's allegiance to the lyric, the impassioned "cry," she expressed her desire to understand obsession. Increasingly beset by her own imaginative silences after the publication of her third book, Bogan sought to dramatize the process of release from obsessive fears of betrayal and entrapment.

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