Last Things

Last Things : Emily Bronte's Poems

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At present, Emily Bronte's poetry is more frequently celebrated than read. Ironically, the very uniqueness of her poems has made them less interesting to current feminist critics than other poems written by Victorian women. Last Things seeks to reinstate Emily Bronte's poems at the heart of Romantic and Victorian concerns while at the same time underlining their enduring relevance for readers today. It presents the poems as the achievement of a
powerfully independent mind responding to her own inner experience of the world and seeking always an abrogation of human limits compatible with a stern morality. It develops Georges Bataille's insight that it doesn't matter whether Bronte had a mystical experience because she 'reached the very essence of such an
experience'. Although the book does not discuss all of Bronte's poems, it seeks to be comprehensive by undertaking an analysis of individual poems, the progress she made from the beginning of her career as a poet to its end, her poetical fragments and her writing practice, and her motives for writing poetry. For admirers of Wuthering Heights, Last Things will bring the concerns and methods of the novel into sharper focus by relating them to the poems.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 200 pages
  • 140 x 220 x 15mm | 389g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 6 b/w plates
  • 0199298181
  • 9780199298181
  • 1,139,066

Table of contents

Introduction: And First ; 1. Last Things ; 2. Fathoming 'Remembrance' ; 3. Outcomes and Endings ; 4. Fragments ; 5. The First Last Thing ; 6. Posthumous Bronte
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Review quote

A significant and important addition. * BronteBlog * Absorbing...[Gezari's] thoughtful and sustained engagement with Emily Bronte's poetry has nothing of the brittle 'argument' of much contemporary critical discourse. Last Things provides an example of what reinvigorated critical humanism might look like. * Joe Phelan, TLS * Gezari, editor of Emily Jane Bronte: The Complete Poems, is an excellent guide to work, that Virginia Woolf thought would outlive Bronte's famous novel. Doubtless, the book is aimed at students and academics, but there is much here for the general reader. * The Book Depository * ...a powerful, persuasive, often moving reading of poems, Bronte's poetry that reveals a subtle craftsmanship in the service of an unorthodox vision...Last Things gives not only devoted readers of Bronte (the usual audience for the poems), but all who care about the poetics of lyric, ways and reasons to read the poems with attention, interest and pleasure. * Beth Newman, The Review of English Studies * the most sensitive, sympathetic, discriminating account of the work to date... powerful, persuasive * Beth Newman, Review of English Studies * Janet Gezari's book has received well-deserved critical acclaim. * Debra San, Essays in Criticism *
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About Janet Gezari

Janet Gezari received her BA degree from Cornell University and her PhD from Yale University. She has been teaching at Connecticut College, where she is the Lucy Marsh Haskell '19 Professor of English, since 1970. She is the editor of Emily Bronte: The Complete Poems (Penguin, 1991) and the author of Charlotte Bronte and Defensive Conduct: The Author and the Body at Risk (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992). Her book on Charlotte
Bronte was selected as an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice in 1993 and jointly awarded the rose Mary Crawshay Prize by the British Academy in 1994. she has also published articles on the Brontes, George Eliot, Vladimir Nabokov, and Bob Dylan.
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Rating details

14 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 29% (4)
4 43% (6)
3 21% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 7% (1)

Our customer reviews

<p>Mention Emily Bronte's name and everyone, quite understandably, thinks of her wonderful, darkly romantic <a href="">Wuthering Heights</a>. But Emily B was an accomplished poet too, and in her estimable <a href="">Last Things: Emily Bronte's Poems</a>, Professor Janet Gezari brings our attention back to these poems and the "achievement of a powerfully independent mind responding to its own inner experience" that they so remarkably represent:</p> <p><em>Silent is the House -- all are laid asleep;<br />One, alone, looks out o'er the snow-wreaths deep; <br />Watching every cloud, dreading every breeze<br />That whirls the wildering drifts and bends the groaning trees --</em> </p> <p>Gezari, editor of <a href="">Emily Jane Bronte: The Complete Poems</a>, is an excellent guide to work that Virginia Woolf thought would outlive Bronte's famous novel. Doubtless, the book is aimed at students and academics, but there is much here for the general reader. As with recent opinion on Thomas Hardy, best known as a novelist but increasingly seen as an important poet, the critical impression of Bronte's verse is changing and settling on its significance. Gezari's book validates this changing view.</p>show more
by Mark Thwaite
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