Abstract

Late-nineteenth-century women poets shed midcentury sentimentality unevenly and at some cost, losing a sense of privacy, a (Christian) frame of reference, and an "imagined community" of women who sharedtheir worldview. They also gained more public, secular, and professional sources of identity. The exact nature of this postsentimental self was unclear. Postsentimental poets often wrote in the "genteel tradition," which trumpeted eternal truth and beauty while working from aposition of subjective instability. Ultimately, their verses must be seenas powerfully fluid and transitional, registering (like the Woman'sBuilding Library) women's struggle to inhabit more public formsof authority.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-3033
Print ISSN
2164-8034
Pages
pp. 5-34
Launched on MUSE
2006-03-14
Open Access
No
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