Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds

Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds By Lyndall Gordon, Award winning biographer Lyndall Gordon presents a startling portrayal of one of America s most significant literary figures that will change the way we view her life and legacy.Listen to Lives Like Loaded Guns on your smartphone, notebook or desktop computer.. Lives Like Loaded Guns Emily Dickinson and Her Family s Feuds Award winning biographer Lyndall Gordon presents a startling portrayal of one of America s most significant literary figures that will change the way we view her life and legacy Listen to Lives Like L

  • Title: Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds
  • Author: Lyndall Gordon
  • ISBN: 9781400187768
  • Page: 360
  • Format: Audiobook
  • 1 thought on “Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family's Feuds”

    1. I don t believe I need to read any books about Emily Dickinson With this and White Heat, I m satiated Time to go back to the poemsLyndall Gordon seems to be a trustworthy guide through the Dickinson thicket of mythology and legendShe focuses on the family and the rifts s that ensued with brother Austin s fourteen year affair with Mabel Loomis Todd he was married to Dickinson s girlhood friend Susan Gilbert She also surmises that Dickinson suffered from epilepsy, which given the fact that her ne [...]

    2. If you think a novel about a staid 19th century New England family including an sickly maiden poet daughter torn apart by a swinging couple, its wife seducing the married brother while the spinster poet writes and writes and glowers the married woman largely responsible in the most vindictive of ways for establishing the poet s posthumous fame sounds good, well this literary biography of Emily Dickinson and her feuding family is for you Completely riveting

    3. Even if you have never read a line of Emily Dickinson and have no intention of doing so, this is an important and engrossing, if not a salacious read If you have read her, this is a must in order to understand what her amazing poems are saying And, I say this believing fully that I understood many of her poems beforehand.Any images you ve imbibed of Emily as a chaste, sexless, recluse will be shattered by Gordon, who bases her conclusions not only on an exhaustive study of Emily s poetry, but al [...]

    4. Nessun altro poeta parla in modo cos intimo della vita dopo la morte come lei quando ci ricorda che il suo viaggio non finito Mentre leggiamo lei avanti di secoli e la sua voce sta ancora venendo verso di noi.

    5. Lyndall Gordon is a terrific biographer She consistently brings fresh ways of seeing to her subjects Previously I d read her biographies of Virginia Woolf and T S Eliot, and because I knew her study of Emily Dickinson would be informative I began Lives Like Loaded Guns with an avid, keen eye Gordon doesn t disappoint, but it s not exactly biography Though the seminal biographical events of Dickinson s life are touched on, the book is first a deep character analysis of her, and second the detaile [...]

    6. just finished reading the Emily Dickinson biography and will never think of the dash in the same way again Idiosyncratic punctuation aside, what vile people From what I ve read about the artists I greatly admire, I wouldn t want to meet most of them I d rather stick to their work Emily, with her long standing reputation as the white dress clad virginal recluse, is here portrayed as a killer of kittens who leaves their putrefying corpses in a bucket, who is too self absorbed to stray from the sub [...]

    7. This is a great, great book I suggest stopping what you are doing now and reading it instead.I had not the slightest interest in Emily Dickinson until a few years ago, around the age of 50, or perhaps, this year at the age of 53 Until then I read her, and shrugged Then, suddenly, I was ready, and she began to speak to me Go figure.It was on NPR that I heard Lyndall Gordon s thesis that Dickinson may have had epilepsy As the father of a young man with epilepsy I found the evidence of Dickinson s [...]

    8. A comprehensive and riveting biography of Emily Dickinson, though she dies midway through the book Gordon is primarily concerned with how the tangled relationships of the Dickinson family , namely Austin Dickinson s adulterous affair with Mabel Loomis Todd,affected the legacy and myth of the poet, the consequences of which are still felt today Gordon chronicles the family feud which began in E.D s lifetime, resulting in two camps the Todds, supported by Austin Dickinson, and Austin s wife Susan [...]

    9. This is a biography of Emily Dickinson and a book about who gets to say who she was after her death On the Life, Gordon is at pains to dispel the legend of a retiring and reticent poet, an image so at odds with the poetry Gordon shows that Dickinson used her correspondence as so many lassoes to grapple kindred spirits to her A chapter is devoted to her love affair with Lord Judge, to whom Emily wrote expressively, even passionately, of her feelings Regarding her brother Austin s adulterous relat [...]

    10. I m rather surprised by some of the low ratings regarding this book I d read the Guardian s rave review of it when the hardcover was published and was anticipating the paperback, which was released right about the time when I realised that the A level English Lit exam specification was changing and that I d be teaching Dickinson next year for the first time since the 90s when I was still in the US teaching American literature This book was a must read.It s quite impressive Gordon s research is i [...]

    11. Two stars is really my fault I was looking for a book about Emily Dickinson Instead this is the messy story of her family in her lifetime and far beyond According to Gordon, the events in the Dickinson Todd saga don t seem come from love or passion but from jealousy and what becomes a desire to possess the right to edit and publish Emily Dickinson s work What began as a passionate affair AD MT seems quickly overshadowed and sullied by petty jealousies over land and rights as the writer tells it [...]

    12. Most of the information in this book was new to me It was interesting to read of the falling out between two families who then continued their feud through generations of fighting over control of Emily Dickinson s fame and life story However, Gordon seems to be channeling Dickinson s poetry style in writing this biography, especially in the first half, and it makes for some annoying and choppy prose At times the author verges on sappy New Age y type prose After a while I started skimming.

    13. At the end of Lyndall Gordon s Lives Like Loaded Guns Emily Dickinson and Her Family s Feuds, the biographer describes the source of the poet s genius as a hidden life like a Bomb in her bosom The poetry it fueled, she advises, must be seen in terms of New England individualism, the Emersonian ethos of self reliance which in its fullest bloom eludes classification It s radical and quirky than anything in Europe, awkward and less loveable than English eccentricity in fact, dangerous It gives me [...]

    14. Emily Dickinson s poetic genius is hardly in dispute, but for anyone with patience wanting to read a whole lot detail about Dickinson s life and times, this might be the book for you Its strength and weakness is that it is really two books in one Much of this book leaves Emily herself lost in the background as the focus shifts to family and others and what happens once Emily is dead Some of that story is fascinating in a soap opera style way and hovers around the poems Emily has left behind on [...]

    15. WHEW This book was a long, hard SLOG I don t know if I was simply easily distracted while I read this book, but it really felt like WORK to make it through to the end As ever, it is impossible to write a solid biography of Emily Dickinson, so by necessity, any book about her actually becomes a biography of the people around her The story of her brother s infidelity is thoroughly examined and discussed, and actually that part of the book was quite fascinating Gordon has definitely done her resear [...]

    16. After reading this book, by the scholarly Lyndall Gordon, who in her other life is a senior research fellow at St Hilda s college in Oxford, England, I realized I was still reading Emily Dickinson s poetry like the Jr High kid I was when I was first introduced to her works Ms Gordon gives us a much complicated portrait of her than the one I had imagined of a shy recluse hidden away in frustration at the limitations of 19th century women Most interesting to me is Gordon s advocacy of epilepsy as [...]

    17. This is a slow, slow book so much detail to digest apparently the author researched thoroughly The digressions and asides along with the author s writing style make me rate the book lower The book seems aimed at those studying Dickinson, not those who just want to know about her The most important development in the book is the author s suppositions that Dickinson s reclusiveness was not a personality quirk but rather a family attempt to hide her frequent seizures resulting from epilepsy and th [...]

    18. To borrow some 19th Century phrasing, this book was not impassioned Worse, this book reads like the writings of someone who has had a stroke repeatedly, the author starts with a whisper of an idea, gains a bit of momentum, and then suddenly trails off again into a multitude of disparate thoughts, all as ephemeral as a spider s webbingThere are many valuable scholarly contributions hidden within this maddening biography for the first time, we see what truly went on behind the closed doors of the [...]

    19. An odd and not entirely successful book There are really two books here one a biography of Emily Dickinson, featuring a provocative thesis that she suffered from epilepsy another an account of what happened to Dickinson s literary estate and legacy after her death, featuring the machinations of Mabel Loomis Todd Gordon might have done better to pick one of those topics and expand it rather than try to fit both into the same book As it is, both feel underdeveloped and in the second half, as the r [...]

    20. This unusually well researched and written biography gave me so much about Emily Dickinson and her work I knew from reading E s poetry that she was no posy holding wallflower, but Gordon rounds Emily out, into a three dimensional woman who is a passionate, wily, genius The condition that allowed her privacy is also well evidenced, and explains a lot as do the descriptions of all other family members and characters Gordon s interpretations of their behavior are based on analysis of documents corr [...]

    21. Despite a host of books about Dickinson and her work, Lives Like Loaded Guns is full of surprises regarding the poet s life and influences Although Gordon reaches for conclusions to some of the bigger questions among them Dickinson s possible epilepsy, her love life, and the complicated relationship she had with her brother, Austin, his wife, and his mistress who aspired to edit the poet s work the author s research into Dickinson s medical records and correspondence breathes fresh air into othe [...]

    22. If you like Emily Dickinson, this book is a must Throw away all the stuff you ve heard about her before, and see the Dickinson family as one dysfunctional mess where adultery, avarice, blind ambition, and debilitating illnesses play against a backdrop of puritanical beliefs falling apart as women begin to emerge as than mere property of husbands One piece must be thrown in Emily s sheer genius and how she revealed it to friends, family, and others The result is a spider web of intrigue, decep [...]

    23. I would give this book a 3.5 It s hard to drop into an Emily Dickinson controversy without having read other books about it, but I think this author does a great job of presenting all the sides of the family feud The reason I gave it a 3 instead of a 4 is that it took me about 150 pages to get used to her writing style, which is to drop chunks of Emily s poems and letters into the middle of the author s sentences making for a very disjointed prose I was constantly rereading sections for meaning [...]

    24. Interesting book delving into the family dynamics of Emily Dickinson, her sister Lavinia, brother Austin and his wife Sue, and Austin s mistress Mabel The author claims to have delved deeper into their relationships, and came to different conclusions than previous biographers Gordon claims Emily had epilepsy, which is what kept her housebound, and that she did have lovers but didn t marry because of her epilepsy Gordon also differs from others in her analysis of Sue, Austin s wife, and Mabel, Au [...]

    25. Absolutely fascinating I never knew that so much popular knowledge about Emily Dickinson is false and that her family feud over ownership of her writing continues to this day The most enlightening part of the book was the author s theory about Dickinson s chronic illness and the family dynamics surrounding her father s home while Dickinson was alive My only criticism is the author s writing style Her ideas twist and turn in some strange ways that make them difficult to follow at times It seems a [...]

    26. This book would be sensational if it weren t so complex and academic The author shows no hesitation in voicing her opinions, premises, guesses, etc as she delves deeply and bravely into the morass of Dickinson lore I walked away feeling thankful that this was not MY family, and liking ED just a little less, as the author portrays her as sort of a passive aggressive character who bound others to her and manipulated those she cared for Who knows what the truth is, but this book certainly provides [...]

    27. An amazing story The protagonist is a woman even remarkable than Emily Dickinson my favorite poet , Mabel Loomis Todd, Emily s brother s mistress for the last 12 years of his life The characters in this story are vivid memorable Although some of the writing is wincingly bad was there an editor on this book the story is highly dramatic entertaining If you have any interest in Dickinson s poetry, this book is essential.

    28. I loved certain chapters of this nonfiction story of the Dickinsonfamily of Amherst Another player in the drama Mabel Loomis, who became the editor of Emily s poems after her death, and the mistress of herbrother Austin is thoroughly studied One chapter about Emily s possible epilepsy and how it figures in her poems is stunning This is a book for those who love Dickinson s works.

    29. Who knew Emily Dickinson was a redhead Or that her family life was so laden with illicit sex on the sofa I have read many biographies and literary studies of Dickinson, but this book went in a fresh and unexpected direction, while still taking a scholarly path Fascinating read, and a testament to how artistic expression is often shaped by life and family experiences.

    30. I expected to like this book much based on the reviews However, I was disappointed because there was just too much about the family arguments It could have been a much shorter book and interesting I thought the author did a good job of reasoning and quoting sources as to the cause of Emily s illness and seclusion all her life.

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