Read e-book online A group of their own: college writing courses and American PDF

By Katherine H Adams

ISBN-10: 0791449351

ISBN-13: 9780791449356

A bunch in their personal is the attention-grabbing tale of the 1st generations of girls who went to varsity to benefit to be writers after which introduced their careers writing poetry and prose. This exceptional workforce integrated Elizabeth Bishop, Ruby Black, Pearl greenback, Emma Bugbee, Willa Cather, Zona Gale, Mildred Gilman, Zora Neale Hurston, Mary McCarthy, Marianne Moore, Eudora Welty, and Margaret Walker.

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His rancor only increased when in 1854 Maria Cummins sold 70,000 copies of The Lamplighter, a year when women were writing more than half of the novels published, a figure that would grow to two-thirds by 1870 (Coutrap-McQuin 2). Certainly these writers would not have referred to their own work as “trash,” but they might have agreed—publicly—that it was no better than was necessary for expressing a moral message. 22 A GROUP OF THEIR OWN Echoing the writers themselves, many literary historians and critics have argued that the moral purposes of these texts, their focus on good and evil, wrongdoer and victim, subsumed any other artistic goals.

Those women who envisioned themselves as becoming well-educated and influential writers by choosing this major, however, did not seem so benign: their incursions threatened a sacrosanct territory of patrician males whose proclamations shaped American intellectual life. These rebellious and determined women entered college at a glorious time for advanced writing instruction. This curriculum in flux, influenced by Progressive theories of education as well as by the huge increase of careerminded students, offered new ties to professional life.

Harriet Beecher Stowe circulated an anecdote concerning her ability to give directions to a cook, tend a child, and write at the same time. In Fanny Fern’s stories “A Practical Blue-Stocking” and “A Chapter on Literary Women,” the surprise endings reveal that women writers can be loving homemakers, with perfect clothes, housekeeping, food, and children. In “A Practical Blue-Stocking,” the husband’s visiting friend imagines that he will find “inky fingers, frazzled hair, rumpled dress, and slip-shod heels have come between me and my old friend—not to mention thoughts of a disorderly house, smoky puddings, and dirty-faced children”; he is instead amazed to meet a model wife (Fern Leaves 100).

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A group of their own: college writing courses and American women writers, 1880-1940 by Katherine H Adams

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