By Jerome Charyn
“Remarkable perception . . . [a] specified meditation/investigation. . . . Jerome Charyn the unpredictable, elusive, and enigmatic is a ordinary fit for Emily Dickinson, the quintessence of these." —Joyce Carol Oates, writer of untamed Nights! and The misplaced Landscape
We imagine we all know Emily Dickinson: the Belle of Amherst, virginal, reclusive, and probably mad. yet in A Loaded Gun, Jerome Charyn introduces us to another Emily Dickinson: the fierce, terrific, and sexually charged poet who wrote:
My existence had stood—a Loaded Gun—
Though I than He— may possibly longer live
He longer must—than I—
For i've got however the strength to kill,
Without—the strength to die—
Through interviews with modern students, shut readings of Dickinson's correspondence and handwritten manuscripts, and a suggestive, newly came across picture that's speculated to express Dickinson together with her lover, Charyn's literary sleuthing unearths the good poet in ways in which have simply been hinted at formerly: as a lady who was once deeply philosophical, intensely engaged with the realm, drawn to individuals of either sexes, and ready to write poetry that disturbs and delights us today.
Jerome Charyn is the writer of, so much lately, sour Bronx: 13 tales, i'm Abraham: a singular of Lincoln and the Civil warfare, and the key lifetime of Emily Dickinson: a unique. He lives in New York.
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Additional resources for A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century
Anderson's greatest influence was probably upon those who read him in adolescence, the age when we find the books we give up but do not get over. And it now needs a little fortitude to pick up again, as many must have done upon the news of his death, the one book of his we are all sure to have read, for Winesburg, Ohio is not just a book, it is a personal souvenir. It is commonly owned in the Modern Library edition, very likely in the most primitive format of that series, even before it was tricked out with its vulgar little ballet-Prometheus; and the brown oilcloth binding, the coarse paper, the bold type crooked on the page, are dreadfully evocative.
His narrative prose is contrived to that end; it is not really a colloquial idiom, although it has certain colloquial tricks; it approaches in effect the inadequate use of a foreign language; old slang persists in it and elegant archaisms are consciously used, so that people are constantly having the "fantods," girls are frequently referred to as "maidens," and things are "like unto" other things. These mannerisms, although they remind us of some of Dreiser's, are not the result, as Dreiser's are, of an effort to be literary and impressive.
It existed when I undertook this notice of Anderson on the occasion of his death, or else I should not have undertaken it. And now that I have gone back to his books again and have found that I like them even less than I remembered, I find too that the residue of admiration still remains; it is quite vague, yet it requires to be articulated with the clearer feelings of dissatisfaction; and it needs to be spoken of, as it has been, first. There is a special poignancy in the failure of Anderson's later career.
A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century by Jerome Charyn