Focusing primarily on American and British poetry written during the past two centuries, Fuss maintains that poetry can still offer genuine ethical compensation, even for the deep wounds and shocking banalities of modern death. As dying, loss, and grief become ever more thoroughly obscured from public view, the dead start chattering away in verse. Through bold, original interpretations of little-known works, as well as canonical poems by writers such as Emily Dickinson, Randall Jarrell, Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Wright, and Sylvia Plath, Fuss explores modern poetry's fascination with pre- and postmortem speech, pondering the literary desire to make death speak in the face of its cultural silencing.
Diana Fuss is Louis W. Fairchild '24 Professor of English at Princeton University. She is the author of The Sense of an Interior: Four Writers and the Rooms that Shaped Them, winner of the James Russell Lowell Prize; Identification Papers; and Essentially Speaking. She is the editor of Human, All Too Human; Pink Freud; and Inside/Out.
Identification Papers situates the recent critical interest in identification in the intellectual tradition that first gave the idea its theoretical relevance: psychoanalysis. Fuss begins from the assumption that identification has a history, and that the term carries with it a host of theoretical problems, conceptual difficulties, and ideological complications. By tracking the evolution of identification in Freud's work over a forty year period, Fuss demonstrates how the concept of identification is neither a theoretically neutral notion nor a politically innocent one.
Identification Papers closely examines the three principal figures -- gravity, ingestion, and infection -- that psychoanalysis invokes to theorize identification. Fuss then deconstructs the psychoanalytic theory of identification in order to open up the possibility of more innovative rethinkings of the political.
Drawing on literature, film, and Freud's own case histories, and engaging with a wide range of disciplines -- including critical theory, philosophy, film theory, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and feminism -- Identification Papers will be a necessary starting point in any future theoretical project that seeks to mobilize the concept of identification for a feminist politics.
The Poet's Companion presents brief essays on the elements of poetry, technique, and suggested subjects for writing, each followed by distinctive writing exercises. The ups and downs of writing life—including self-doubt and writer's block—are here, along with tips about getting published and writing in the electronic age. On your own, this book can be your "teacher," while groups, in or out of the classroom, can profit from sharing weekly assignments.