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Between History and Poetry

The Letters of H.D. And Norman Holmes Pearson

Donna Krolik Hollenberg

Publication Year: 1997

Published by: University of Iowa Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-x

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Editorial Statement

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pp. xi-xii

H.D. and Norman Holmes Pearson engaged in a prolonged and wide-ranging relationship that was vital to her development as a writer. Beginning in 1937, when they met, until H.D.'s death, in 1961, they exchanged more than a thousand letters...

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Introduction: "A Whole Deracinated Epoch"

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pp. 1-16

Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) met Norman Holmes Pearson in 1937 when she visited New York City, during one of the few trips to America she made after going abroad in 1911. Then fifty-one, H.D. was a glamorous expatriate, who divided her life largely between a home in Vevey, Switzerland...

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1. "New Puritans" in a Civilian War, 1941-1946

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pp. 17-66

H.D. was at Kenwin in Switzerland on 3 September 1939, when Britain and France declared war on Germany. Her letters to Silvia Dobson,l the young English writer whose farm in Kent would provide sanctuary later in the war...

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2. "Dear Norman, C.H.E.V.A.L.I.E.R.," 1946-1951

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pp. 67-118

After having recuperated at Klinik Brunner in Kiisnacht, H.D. made the gradual transition from living in London or Burier-la-Tour with Bryher to living alone in a succession of residential hotels - in Lausanne in the winter or Lugano in the summer...

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3. "Our Mystery," 1952-1954

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pp. 119-174

The main creative event in this interval was the composition of H.D.'s long poem Helen in Egypt after a five-year hiatus during which she wrote no poetry. H.D. began the poem in the autumn of 1952, having been inspired in part by Pearson's importunement...

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4. "Are You and Erich Perhaps the Dioscuri?" 1955-1956

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pp. 175-195

In this interval H.D. documented her relationship with Erich Heydt, who had become linked with Pound and Pearson in her imagination. In the journal "Compassionate Friendship" (1955), she describes him as the inheritor of seven earlier male "initiators,"...

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5. "Another Canyon...Bridged," 1957-1959

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pp. 196-260

In these years H.D.'s incomplete recovery from her fall and consequent relative confinement acquired symbolic significance. She was bedridden during the composition of "Vale Ave" (5 April 1957-13 May 1957) and much of "Sagesse" (9 June 1957-January 1958)...

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6. "Grove of Academe," 1960-1961

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pp. 261-300

Publication of Tribute to Freud and Selected Poems, accolades from Poetry and Brandeis University, American citizenship regained: these events led to the culminating moment of H.D.'s last years, her reception, in person, of the award in poetry...


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pp. 301-311

E-ISBN-13: 9781587291142
Print-ISBN-13: 9781587293474

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 1997