Alfred Habegger
My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson
August 03, 2019 Comments.. 690
My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson Alfred Habegger Emily Dickinson, probably the most loved and certainly the greatest of American poets, continues to be seen as the most elusive One reason she has become a timeless icon of mystery for many readers is that her developmental phases have not been clarified In this exhaustively researched biography, Alfred Habegger presents the first thorough account of Dickinson s growth aEmily Dickinson, probably the most loved and certainly the greatest of American poets, continues to be seen as the most elusive One reason she has become a timeless icon of mystery for many readers is that her developmental phases have not been clarified In this exhaustively researched biography, Alfred Habegger presents the first thorough account of Dickinson s growth a richly contextualized story of genius in the process of formation and then in the act of overwhelming production.Building on the work of former and contemporary scholars, My Wars Are Laid Away in Books brings to light a wide range of new material from legal archives, congregational records, contemporary women s writing, and previously unpublished fragments of Dickinson s own letters Habegger discovers the best available answers to the pressing questions about the poet Was she lesbian Who was the person she evidently loved Why did she refuse to publish and why was this refusal so integral an aspect of her work Habegger also illuminates many of the essential connection sin Dickinson s story between the decay of doctrinal Protestantism and the emergence of her riddling lyric vision between her father s political isolation after the Whig Party s collapse and her private poetic vocation between her frustrated quest for human intimacy and the tuning of her uniquely seductive voice.The definitive treatment of Dickinson s life and times, and of her poetic development, My Wars Are Laid Away in Books shows how she could be both a woman of her era and a timeless creator Although many aspects of her life and work will always elude scrutiny, her living, changing profile at least comes into focus in this meticulous and magisterial biography.From the Hardcover edition.. My Wars Are Laid Away in Books The Life of Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson probably the most loved and certainly the greatest of American poets continues to be seen as the most elusive One reason she has become a timeless icon of mystery for many readers is
  • Title: My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson
  • Author: Alfred Habegger
  • ISBN: 9780812966015
  • Page: 185
  • Format: Paperback
  • My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson Alfred Habegger

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    1 Blog on “My Wars Are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson

    1. Gloria says:

      I d have given this 2 stars were it not solely for the massive amount of research and collecting of letters, dates, history, etc that precluded the writing of something like this.However, Emily Dickinson remains just as an elusive figure as before this or any other attempt at her biography was written.In the introduction, a literary critic addressed the fact that sometimes a poet s works were written for personal reasons and were never meant for others eyes at all At certain levels, we are not m [...]

    2. Terry says:

      This book is maddening At some point biographers and scholars academics have GOT to get together and realize that there is just not enough material to write a decent biography of Dickinson GIVE IT UP Habegger writes an exhaustive biography of everyone ELSE in Dickinson s life and tries to connect that to her, but even he frequently admits that we just don t know what she was thinking or even DOING most of the time Knowing what everyone else around me is doing isn t going to tell you a whole lot [...]

    3. Wendell says:

      I m a fairly ravenous reader and I also teach Dickinson to college freshmen in my Intro to American Literature class but it took me than four months to finish this biography of one of my favorite writers, and almost every page was a slog Dickinson herself struggles to appear in Habegger s version of her life, in part because she is obscured by such a mountain of minutiae and of scholarly score settling Habegger s pedantic and persnickety comments regarding other writers bad research or unsubsta [...]

    4. Deborah Markus says:

      The short review If you re going to read a biography of Dickinson, this one is probably your best bet.The dirty details I sought this out when I was about 250 pages into Cynthia Griffin Wolff s biography of Dickinson Hers is a beautiful book, and I intend to finish it but although it gives valuable context to Dickinson s life, I felt a certain lack in the nuts and bolts department I wanted basic facts.This book has them, in abundance Dickinson herself remains elusive, of course We may not be ab [...]

    5. Alan says:

      This is the best Dickinson biography I ve read, though Sewall s is very thorough, and the best from 1974 2001 or so Habegger includes the newly discovered daguerreotype acquired by Gura, of Dickinson not age 16 the universally familiar portrait, in Amherst College collection.Besides the photos, his narrative is fine, even moving Habegger s account of Dickinson s response to being chided by Helen Hunt Jackson for not publishing, and his account of Dickinson s funeral in the house Tell all the tru [...]

    6. Judy says:

      I found this was just too detailed for me I do love Emily Dickinson s poetry, but I m not ready to assimilate quite this much information about her family background, home town, school, etc, etc I am impressed by how much research the author has done and his love of his subject, but I d have done better to start with a shorter overview.

    7. Shellian731 says:

      Ironic that a biography of a creative poetic genius would be written in prose so clunky and inflexible that it could be carved into several pairs of wooden shoes Well researched, but not exactly a riveting page turner.

    8. Marna says:

      This did take me a really long time to read I started it in September and while it shows a few very obvious biases, the information on Dickinson s family and early life is solid and almost excruciatingly detailed I feel this is a good place to start and am excited by the idea of reading her from other viewpoints, possibly even looking into a free online course of some kind.

    9. Lorna says:

      Thoroughly documented biography.

    10. Diane says:

      Evenhanded, thorough and engrossing examination of Dickinson s life, background, and social and personal milieu Habegger has helped me form my opinion that Dickinson was a highly intelligent young woman, with a strong rebellious spirit and a determination to beat whatever adversities she faced And she faced a great many For example, she was most probably an emotional, needy, and therefore difficult person to be around as a young woman, if one expected normal 19th century female behavior Male and [...]

    11. Deb says:

      Gee, what to say I m not qualified to assess this book in terms of its value to scholars, only in the pleasure it may afford to readers It has been decades since I have read the Richard Sewall biography, but my memory of that work was that it was less dry and fun to read than this one It is a very careful book that seldom strays from verifable information and therefore does not present a grand thesis that might catch one s attention That makes it trustworthy but less readable than those biogra [...]

    12. Padraic says:

      Long time since I read an academic biography cover to cover I m very good at spending excess time in the picture section And it s always fair to ask if the draw is the author Habegger or the author Dickinson In my particular case, I skewed toward the poet one of the oddest of odd American authors, firmly embedded in her time and place as limited as the latter was , and probably what we used to refer to in the sixties as a head case But oh The verse Though I thought of the drinking game due to Ha [...]

    13. Carol says:

      I recently took a tour of Emily Dickinson s house and the tour guide recommended this biography I have to admit it was a little beyond me in that it assumed a much greater familiarity with her work and with some of the major scholarly theories about her life than I have Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this book, even though it was slower going than usual The author is obviously extremely knowledgeable about Dickinson s life and work has extensively studied her writings and those of her family, f [...]

    14. Andy Oram says:

      Having read discouraging reviews about two recent books aboutDickinson, and having heard that this was highly recommended, Idecided that as a busy person I would just sample it, but I ended upreading all 620 pages straight through Habegger does an impressivejob weighing evidence and avoiding the speculations of earlierbiographers and critics Yet in the end, Dickinson proves elusive Ifeel I know a lot about her life, but I realize Habegger had todo some speculation of his own I recommend his boo [...]

    15. Ellee says:

      This book is a biography of Emily Dickinson A very thorough biography That being said, if you re interested in the growth of prominent literary figures, this would be a great biography to pick up It is a slow read I began this book for a free Barnes Noble University course about Emily Dickinson and her poetry last October, read ax 250 pages during the month long course, and set the book down Determined to finish during this course s July session, though Despite being slow to read, the author pre [...]

    16. Leslie says:

      4 5 one of my favorite literary individuals is Emily Dickinson I may not be able to understand all of her poetry but that is OK it is in the appreciation of her craft that drives me and her autobiographical story As a side note, it wasn t until I took a class on the famous poet in grad school creative writing that I knew about the collection I letters that Emily wrote and that people wrote back to her If you are at all a fan of Dickinson, I would look the letters publication up because it is tru [...]

    17. Joe Ward says:

      I finally finished My Wars Are Laid Away in Books Took me most of the winter, only reading on Sunday afternoon some weekday evenings I must say that I enjoyed Habegger s Emily biography but that I liked Sewell s better Habegger offers some insights based on recent scholarship that weren t available to Sewell In places I found Habegger s prose to be rather convoluted and difficult to interpret Overall, though, it s a well researched well written work, that will take you back immerse you in 19th c [...]

    18. Melissa says:

      Notes when I started this book MONTHS AGO I m not generally an avid reader of biographies, but I do love Emily Dickinson, and this particular biography, while of epic length, comes highly recommended.Notes now that I m finally % % done with it DEAR SWEET LORD, this felt like the longest book I have ever read Perhaps it suffered from my bright idea three chapters in to read the collected poems along with it Perhaps it suffered from the painfully dry prose and eye crossing footnotes I did feel clo [...]

    19. Moira-ji says:

      Very mixed feelings as I love the level of historic detail available here still enigmatic, our Emily, never fear Often the author assumes and presumes things which have no given objective basis but must therefore originate in interpretation and yet are presented as ultimate authority Also, I sincerely tired of descriptions calling notice to erotic elements of E.D s writing every time there was mention of a Bee A count of the times the word erotic or its derivatives is used in this text would dem [...]

    20. Lizzie says:

      I am not a poetry person, though I like some of Dickenson s poems Her self aggrandizing suffering fits with mental stance for most of my life of bearing a secret sorrow usually because of some romantic disappointment Her secret sorrows seem to be about a minister with whom she had a spiritual relationship meeting of minds that made her call herself his wife But much is shrouded in mystery, which makes her story so interesting.Although I d read another biography of her 30 years ago, I d missed th [...]

    21. Richard says:

      I ve read and re read this book a couple of times Its THE best biography of Emily Dickenson, who is the love of my life yeah yeah, I know she s been dead for 130 years It gives you a really good picture of her family life, her loves and the things that influenced her poetry almost all of which went undiscovered until after her death Its a biography, yes, but its also a culteral history of Emily s life and times.Emily and Walt Whitman are, in my mind, THE 2 most important American poets of all ti [...]

    22. Alexa says:

      Extremely thorough and well documented Also very dense and hard to get through for the casual reader This is the second biography of Emily Dickinson I have read I would only recommend this book to the most fervent fans of Dickinson It assumes a level of knowledge of her poems that not all will know It was hard to keep track of all the names, although there was a helpful family chart in the appendix A great scholarly work, but not for the masses.

    23. booklady says:

      Although this is on my abandoned shelf, it doesn t really belong there and God willing won t stay there forever I read a good portion of this book before getting side tracked by other books I needed to read at the time This was back when I was still homeschooling and much like now I bought books to read meaning to finish them but didn t always succeed What I did read, was excellent

    24. Jennifer says:

      The best biography of ED I ve read It was recommended to me by the docents at the ED museum in Amherst MA I m not sure ED was a very nice woman, and that makes me glad Confusing at times, especially regarding the friends and correspondents she had all her life, but the biographical information is great and the insight into alternative ordering of poems and matching to life events is most interesting.

    25. Diann Blakely says:

      The aptly titled new biography, by former University of Kansas professor Alfred Habegger, respects the personal and aesthetic fury of many of Dickinson s best poems My Life Had Stood a Loaded Gun, for example without falling into the trap of reducing them solely to political documents, as is too often the case with contemporary criticism written by academics originally published as part of an omnibus in the NASHVILLE SCENE

    26. Anna says:

      Non ho ancora finito di leggere questa ricchissima biografia perch in un certo senso ho paura di conoscere troppo di Emily Ma ho comprato il libro durante la mia breve e indimenticabile visita ad Amherst e ne vado scioccamente fiera Guardo la bellissima copertina e so che verr il tempo di leggerlo fino in fondo Non ora, per.

    27. Mikael says:

      Habegger s bio of Emily Dickinson is thorough, well written, fully researched Chronologically arranged, but it does a good job of tying together various periods of ED s life and thought Gives a real feeling for the people in her life May not agree with all of Habegger s comments, but they are generally reasonable, not outlandish or strained Reads easily almost a page turner Excellent book.

    28. Lizzie Jones says:

      I m not the biggest fans of fact heavy biographies, so this wasn t my favorite I like it when a biographer can adequately tell someone s story However, I understand that this is especially difficult when it comes to Dickinson since she was so private and there are so many unanswered questions about her life I think Habegger did a really good job researching this book.

    29. Mitzi says:

      Very interesting read the level of research is obviously extremely high and carefully done I might have edited down slightly, but other than that I couldn t have asked for a better or in depth look at ED s life and work.

    30. Carol says:

      Emily Dickinson 1830 1886 was a remarkable poet She wrote many letters, often including poems, but didn t seek publication This is a book to read with a dictionary at hand I found it fascinating.

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