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Penelope's Web


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Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction: the double weave of H. D.'s prose modernism; 1. 'H. D. - Who is she?': discourses of self-creation; 2. Origins: rescriptions of desire in HER; 3. Madrigals: love, war and the the return of the repressed; 4. Borderlines: diaspora in the history novels and the Dijon series; 5. Rebirths: re/membering the father and mother; Coda: bridging the double discourse in H. D.' Oeuvre; Chronology: dating H. D.'s writing; Notes; Works cited; Index.

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Penelope's Web, published in 1991, was the first book to examine fully the brilliantly innovative prose writing of Hilda Doolittle.


"The first comprehensive study of H.D.'s prose, Penelope's Web is important both as a study of H.D.'s writing and as a thoughtful contribution to the remapping of modernism that critically engages poststructuralist theories of the feminine and skillfully negotiates between linguistic, materialist, and psychoanalytic interpretive strategies." American Literature "...a high-gear example of complex literary criticism bursting-at-the-seams with insights. Unusually perceptive are her insights into H.D.'s analysis with Freud, reflecting the care and thoroughness with which Friedman has read her Freud. She is equally skilled in placing H.D.'s prose within the context of modernist prose experimentation...a staggering variety of psychological and textual issues coloring H.D.'s prose are given illumination...This strikes me as literary criticism at its most dynamically imaginative and undogmatic, a criticism worthy of a poet and fiction writer as various as H.D...here is a noble reading of a noble oeuvre of poet's prose." Norman Weinstein, American Book Review "...Friedman's contribution to the burgeoning field of scholarship on this once-neglected author of lyric and epic poetry, historical novels, romans a clef, memoirs, and 'tributes' to Ezra Pound and Sigmund Freud is unparalleled...Friedman's Penelope's Web is an exemplary affirmative reading of H.D.'s work: a powerful new reading of her many and extremely varied prose writings; a provocative study by an American feminist who is self-consciously negotiating with post-structuralist theories of language and subjectivity while at the same time reaffirming her commitment to the idea of female-centered poetics." Ann Ardis, Novel

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