Towards a Constructive Criticism of Stevie Smith

William May

in Stevie Smith and Authorship

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199583379
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723193 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

Towards a Constructive Criticism of Stevie Smith

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This chapter considers the construction of Smith's public persona in her relation to her critical reception. It notes the defensive and protective critical stances often taken on Smith's work, examines the notion of misreading with reference to the marketing and reception of Smith's work in the 1930s, and traces this through to contemporary responses by feminist and poststructuralist critics. The chapter explores Smith's correspondence with agents, readers, and reviewers throughout her career, notes that her self-written blurbs deliberately worked to offset the current critical consensus, and focuses on Smith's self-construction in interviews and public appearances.

Keywords: literary biography; reader-response theory; reception; interviews; authorial self-construction; misreading

Chapter.  12739 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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