Obsession and Release

Obsession and Release : Reading the Poetry of Louise Bogan

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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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Product details

  • Hardback | 170 pages
  • 171.45 x 230 x 19.05mm | 430g
  • Bucknell University Press,U.S.
  • Cranbury, United States
  • English
  • 0838753213
  • 9780838753217

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