Dickinson’s Sheets

Alexandra Socarides

in Dickinson Unbound

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199858088
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950300 | DOI:
Dickinson’s Sheets

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This chapter describes Dickinson’s practice of making her fascicles and situates this act within conventions of nineteenth-century verse-copying and homemade book-making practices. It does so in order to question current critical readings of the fascicles and to suggest that attending to the objects themselves can help us rethink the generic expectations we bring to Dickinson’s poetry. I argue that the material differences between Dickinson’s fascicles and other types of books—commonplace books, autograph albums, scrapbooks, diaries, and collections of sermons—reveal how, in making the fascicles, Dickinson’s primary unit of composition was the individual folded fascicle sheet, a material object that highlights both her desire for formal play between clusters of poems and her fascination with and resistance to print.

Keywords: manuscript books; fascicles; commonplace books; print; autograph albums; scrapbooks; sermons; homemade books; print culture; Nineteenth-Century publishing conventions

Chapter.  12991 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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