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John Sutherland, Wilkie Collins's Armadale (2nd Edition) PDF

By John Sutherland, Wilkie Collins

Whilst the aged Allan Armadale makes a negative confession on his death-bed, he has little concept of the repercussions to return, for the key he finds includes the mysterious Lydia Gwilt: flame-haired temptress, bigamist, laudanum addict and husband-poisoner. Her malicious intrigues gas the plot of this gripping melodrama: a story of careworn identities, inherited curses, romantic rivalries, espionage, funds – and homicide. the nature of Lydia Gwilt horrified modern critics, with one reviewer describing her as 'One of the main hardened girl villains whose units and wishes have ever blackened fiction'. She is still one of the such a lot enigmatic and engaging girls in nineteenth-century literature and the darkish center of this such a lot sensational of Victorian 'sensation novels'.

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By the time that this newspaper article was written, reflecting the popular level of discussion about feminism at the time, Loy had moved to New York, preceded by the publication of her poetry in numerous avantgarde journals, beginning with Camera Work’s 1914 printing of her ‘Aphorisms on Futurism’, and including Rogue, Others and Trend. Incorporating techniques of parataxis, fragmentation and simultaneity, her work translated these techniques from the European art scene and (like Stein, an important formal influence) applied them to language, significantly helping introduce American audiences to the vital interactions of art and poetry that increasingly marked modernist experimentation, especially in the 1910s.

Loy’s work began to appear soon after the 1913 Armory Show in New York City, the first major exhibition in America of modern European Post-Impressionist and Cubist art. It had shocked the public, including the poet William Carlos Williams, who experienced a conversion to modernism after seeing it. Mabel Dodge kept Loy abreast of the American attitudes toward the show, which she had helped organise upon returning from Europe to America in the autumn of 1912. Stein’s portrait of Dodge was distributed at the Armory Show, along with a March 1913 article on Stein by Dodge, published in Arts and Decoration, which claimed that ‘Gertrude Stein is doing with words what Picasso is doing with paint.

Revolutionary lyric inflections of sexuality join with works such as Gertrude Stein’s in charting a lesbian poetics that links the woman’s body, poetic production and sexual energy to the generation of a new poetry (Donaldson 2004: 27–42). Moreover, Lowell’s claim to traditions of women’s poetry, including Sappho, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Emily Dickinson, indicates an early ‘consciousness of how the sexual economy of the poetic voice shapes women writers’ (Donaldson 2004: 28). , in Tendencies in American Poetry, links the modernist woman poet with a preceding tradition through a consciousness of the lyric’s gendered structures of desire and expression.

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