This book challenges influential accounts about gender and the novel by revealing the complex ways in which labour informed the lives and writing of a number of middling and genteel women authors publishing between 1750 and 1830. It provides a seam of texts for exploring the vexed relationship between gender, work and writing. The four chapters that follow contain contextualised case studies of the treatment of manual, intellectual and domestic labour in the work and careers of Sarah Scott, Charlotte Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft and women applicants to the writers' charity, the Literary Fund. By making women's work visible in our studies of female-authored fiction of the period, the book reveals the crucial role that these women played in articulating debates about the gendered division of labour, the (in)compatibility of women's domestic and professional lives, and the status and true value of women's work, which shaped eighteenth-century culture as surely as they do our own.
A Hollywood Love Story (as Written by James Baldwin)
D. Quentin Miller
Baldwin’s The Devil Finds Work (1976) has proven challenging since its publication because readers and critics have trouble classifying it. The challenge may be related to a common feature of Baldwin criticism, namely a tendency to compare late career works to early ones and to find them lacking: the experimental nature of later works of nonfiction like No Name in the Street (1972), The Devil Finds Work, and The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985) does not square easily with the more conventional essays that made Baldwin famous in his early years. I attempt to reframe The Devil Finds Work not through a comparison to other Baldwin essays, but rather through a comparison to his fiction, specifically the novel Giovanni’s Room. I posit that a greater appreciation for Devil can result from thinking of it as a story, specifically the story of a failed love affair.
Labour, narrative and community in the novels of Sarah Scott
The ‘gift’ of work: labour, narrative
and community in the novels of
What I understand by society is a state of mutual confidence, reciprocal
services, and correspondent affections; where numbers are thus united,
there will be a free communication of sentiments, and we shall then find
speech, that peculiar blessing given to man, a valuable gift indeed; but
when we see it restrained by suspicion, or contaminated by detraction, we
Geoffrey Hill’s work from 1996 to 2016 is a distinct phase and a development from his earlier work. This later phase is instigated by a divergence from T.S. Eliot and by Hill’s critiques of such modernist poets as W.B. Yeats and Ezra Pound, along with an abiding commitment to modernist claims about poetry. Hill’s divergence from these figures takes the form of a strenuous re-reading of modernism and its legacies, and at its heart is a close engagement with the work of F.H. Bradley, the philosopher on whom Eliot wrote his doctoral dissertation. The poetry and criticism of this period is energised by a perplexed commitment to being and an attendant sense of swimming against the stream of the “stridently post-cultural” postmodern moment in which this work takes its place. The philosophical notion of “intrinsic value” is accordingly central to this later work, as is the cultural-political sense of this period being one of “plutocratic anarchy”. The political place of poetry, and what this book in its final chapter terms the political imagination, is a crucial element in the later work, and is placed in the context of such figures as Coleridge, Wordsworth, Ruskin, Shakespeare and Dante. The cultural politics at the heart of Hill’s later achievement is also explored, drawing on the work of George Steiner, Gabriel Marcel, and Noam Chomsky, among others, along with his controversial commitment to the right of art to be difficult and his assertion that such difficulty is truly democratic.
In this bold and exhilarating mix of memoir and writing guide, Melissa Febos tackles the emotional, psychological, and physical work of writing intimately while offering an utterly fresh examination of the storyteller’s life and the challenges it presents. How do we write about the relationships that have formed us? How do we describe our bodies, their desires and traumas? What does it mean to have your writing, or living, dismissed as “navel-gazing”—or else hailed as “so brave, so raw”? And to whom, in the end, do our most intimate stories belong? Drawing on her journey from aspiring writer to acclaimed author and writing professor—via addiction and recovery, sex work and academia—Melissa Febos has created a captivating guide to the writing life, and a brilliantly unusual exploration of subjectivity, privacy, and the power of divulgence. Candid and inspiring, Body Work will empower readers and writers alike, offering ideas—and occasional notes of caution—to anyone who has ever hoped to see their true self reflecting back from the open page.
But send thou to Hygelac, if the war have me,
The best of all war-shrouds that now my breast wardeth,
The goodliest of railings, the good gift of Hrethel,
The hand-work of Weland.
Beowulf , trans. William Morris
Autobiographical acts of reading and
the work of Gloria Anzaldúa and
In a 2007 interview for the Voices of Feminism Oral History Project,
Dorothy Allison shares her experiences of being a feminist activist
and organiser in the 1960s and 1970s while at college in Florida. She
reveals how, attending one women’s meeting, she realised why she
did not belong there:
When I went to the women’s meeting … these people can afford to talk
about this stuff, but I could lose my scholarship and be on the street.
So I walked out, then didn’t go back. And that
ô Essex and thy noble line, Euer most great,
yet greater then it was, Thou sun-shine, drying widdowes
teared eyne, The Columb which supports a royall
masse; Thou excellent, deriu’d from most
diuine, The work ELIZAS power hath brought to
Carlyle regarded the Reformation as a seminal event in the history of modern
Europe, the starting point of an ongoing stage in human development. Reformation
Protestantism gave birth to a more general and pervasive spirit of ‘reformation’
that Carlyle identified with the moral destiny of all individuals and
communities. These qualities were epitomized by heroic figures such as Luther
and Cromwell but they were also embedded in cultures that responded productively
to the ongoing challenge of reformation. Having traced the history of the ethos
of reformation through English Puritanism and in the commitment to
transformative action or ‘work’ that gave rise to Britains emergence as a
leading industrial and imperial power, Carlyle brought this reinvention of the
Reformation to bear in his critique of the counter-reforming tendencies in early
Victorian society that he saw as posing a profound threat to it.