Literary Couplings: Writing Couples, Collaborators, and the Construction of Authorship

Literary Couplings: Writing Couples, Collaborators, and the Construction of Authorship

Language: English

Pages: 392

ISBN: 0299217647

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Literary Couplings: Writing Couples, Collaborators, and the Construction of Authorship

Language: English

Pages: 392

ISBN: 0299217647

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Challenges the traditional focus on solitary genius by examining the diversity of collaborations from the early modern to the post-modern period. This work explores some of the best-known literary partnerships - from the Sidneys to Boswell and Johnson to Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes - and also includes lesser-known collaborators.

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1, 1998, headline describing the legal struggle between Evelyn Lau, author of Runaway: xiii Prologue Diary of a Street Kid, based on her experience as a prostitute, and W. P. Kinsella, author of Shoeless Joe, the novel upon which the 1989 Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams was based.5 Lau (in her twenties) and Kinsella (in his sixties) had a written agreement allowing either to use their relationship in fiction, but Lau had published not a fictional story but a memoir—her version of the

For instance, the entry for 1 September described Johnson’s unexpected, relationship-threatening anger when Boswell rode off toward Glenelg, explaining at length why he had started to ride ahead until Johnson “called [him] back with a tremendous shout” (though not why he had neglected to tell Johnson that he was leaving): “[ M]y intentions were not improper. I wished to be forward to see if Sir A. Macdonald had sent his boat; and if not, how we were to sail, and how we were to lodge, all which I

author as isolated genius. Specifically, I think that our overly stable histories of the family, derived from the intersection of domestic ideologies and modern psychologies, mask the changing significance of the grown sibling in the household. Nancy Armstrong and Leonard Tennenhouse have analyzed the ahistorical “logic of emotions” governing academic studies of the family, which, despite apparent differences, fixate on the conjugal bond in the nuclear family.1 As Ruth Perry has pointed out, this

nephew’s best efforts cannot avert and the uncle cannot understand. Michael can imagine no economic reason for his nephew’s failure; his surety and the nephew’s labor should have ensured the family’s well-being. Nor can Michael imagine any remedy outside the circles of family obligation. When he recoils from selling “[a] portion of his patrimonial fields” to pay the debt, we may well wonder at his seeming to set a higher value on his lands than his son. The poem leaves little doubt that Michael’s

she means something more specific than “sympathetic.” The reader she wishes to procure for her father must affiliate himself to Coleridge’s genius, as she has. In seeking out such genial readers, Sara embraces Coleridge’s own characteristic blurring of the difference between “literal” children and those who are “as” children, but in doing so she revises the significance of the gesture. Her very use of the metaphor of children emphasizes her own special genial relationship to her father, reminding

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