Sordid Images: The Poetry of Masculine Desire

Sordid Images: The Poetry of Masculine Desire

Sordid Images: The Poetry of Masculine Desire

Sordid Images: The Poetry of Masculine Desire

Synopsis

In this extraordinary and bold book, S.H. Clark explores and constructs a history of poetic misogyny. For the first time, a wide range of English poetry by men is examined for evidence of the articulation of heterosexual masculine desires. But Clark goes beyond a straightforward oppositional model of reading the male canon, to ask how we read this work 'after feminism', and whether it is possible to value these texts as misogynist texts in the light of feminist theory? Sordid Images is a challenging, controversial book. It will excite and unsettle its readers, and inspire many to look again at some of the cornerstone works of English literature.

Excerpt

The text used for Shakespeare is The Sonnets and a Lover’s Complaint, edited by John Kerrigan (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986); for Rochester, The Poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, edited by Keith Walker (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984); for Pope, The Twickenham Edition of the Poems of Alexander Pope, edited by John Butt et al. (New Haven and London: Yale up, 1939-69); for Blake, The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, edited by David V. Erdman (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1982); for Eliot, The Complete Poetry and Plays of T. S. Eliot (London: Faber, 1969); and for Larkin, Philip Larkin: collected poems, edited by Anthony Thwaite (London: Faber, 1988). References to Shakespeare are by poem number and line; to Rochester and Pope, by line number; to Blake, by plate, line and page; to Eliot and Larkin by line number and page.

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