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This Business of WordsReassessing Anne Sexton$
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Amanda Golden

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062204

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062204.001.0001

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“The house / of herself”

“The house / of herself”

Reading Place and Space in the Poetry of Anne Sexton

(p.17) 1 “The house / of herself”
This Business of Words

Jo Gill

University Press of Florida

‘“The house/ of herself”: Reading Place and Space in the Poetry of Anne Sexton’ offers a reading of Anne Sexton’s poetry and prose (including short stories, unpublished lecture notes and correspondence) in light of its engagement with history and, more importantly, with historiography. The orthodox assumption that confessional poetry in general, and Sexton’s poetry in particular, has little or nothing to say about contemporary historical circumstances has been confounded of late by the work of a number of critics. This essay takes these revisionist readings of Sexton’s historical and political commitment as the starting point for a nuanced and theoretically inflected reading of her engagement not with history per se, but with historiography – or the ways in which the past has been read, understood and communicated over time.

Keywords:   Historiography, Place, Space, Anne Sexton, Poetry, Prose

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