By Joanne Feit Diehl
This hugely leading edge paintings on poetic impact between ladies writers makes a speciality of the connection among modernist poet Elizabeth Bishop and her mentor Marianne Moore. Departing from Freudian types of impact conception that forget about the query of maternal presence, Joanne Diehl applies the psychoanalytic insights of item kin theorists Melanie Klein and Christopher Bollas to woman-to-woman literary transactions. She lays the basis for a far-reaching severe process as she indicates that Bishop, mourning her separation from her usual mom, strives to stability gratitude towards Moore, her literary mom, with a probably disabling envy.
Diehl starts off by means of exploring Bishop's memoir of Moore, "Efforts of Affection," as an test by way of Bishop to make sure Moore's distinctiveness so that it will guard herself opposed to her predecessor's virtually overwhelming originality. She then deals an intertextual interpreting of the 2 writers' works that inquires into Bishop's ambivalence towards Moore. In an research of "Crusoe in England" and "In the Village," Diehl exposes the restorative impulses that gas aesthetic construction and investigates how Bishop thematizes an realizing of literary construction as a means of psychic compensation.
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Additional resources for Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore: The Psychodynamics of Creativity
Its wasp-nest ﬂaws of white on white, and closelaid Ionic chiton-folds like the lines in the mane of a Parthenon horse . . Interestingly, in her poem, “Santarém,” Bishop may be observed subtly taking back or provisionally reappropriating her gift, although she does not allude to the possibility of this reappropriation in the memoir itself. The lines from Bishop’s poem are themselves related to the subject of gift exchange, the rejection of someone else’s attribution of value to an object, the utterly uncomprehending sensibility of one who cannot recognize the value of what the poem’s speaker had so genuinely admired that the owner made it a gift: In the blue pharmacy the pharmacist had hung an empty wasps’ nest from a shelf: small, exquisite, clean matte white, and hard as stucco.
Moore’s willfulness, desire for power, and attempt to control her refusal to come to terms, at least overtly, with sexuality, history, or contemporary secular life, create for Bishop overriding difﬁculties in determining if and how Moore’s codes of conduct can be reinscribed in terms of her own experience. Yet, of course, these same difﬁculties enable Bishop to create a ground or basis for difference. The silences in “Efforts of Affection,” the deﬂection of judgment, the repeated refusal to criticize, the representation of episodes without commentary, all bespeak an ambivalence too threatening to be directly addressed.
In her worldliness, her modernity, her openness to experience, Bishop in one sense consigns her mentor to a subordinate position, thereby establishing grounds for a condescension that enables her to distinguish and so separate herself from a mother who had never been able or apparently never desired to separate herself from her own mother, thus preserving Moore’s anomolous status as a mother-child. For, what Moore most obviously does not create as an adult is a family of her own, and, as a consequence, the issue of the conduct of life outside such a renewed family itself acquires the aura of the problematic.