Ruth Hoberman: On "Helen's Burning"

In speaking about (Riding) Jackson's use of mythical/classical characters in her fiction, Hoberman suggests important background for analyzing (Riding) Jackson's classical images in poetry.

Both epic and traditional history privilege the "material changes" over "characterless narration." In the process, they privilege male over female activities, closure over open-endedness, detachment over intimacy. ... Defining itself against male-centered, culturally privileged epics, Riding's ... aim is to let commonalities among characters and between readers and characters emerge. Riding's concern is with identification and sympathy, not detachment and objectivity; she contrasts herself explicitly with the archeologist digging for objects.... Riding's aim is communication through "sympathy"-i.e., through identification with her subjects, not investigation of them. (p. 69)


Title Ruth Hoberman: On "Helen's Burning" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Ruth Hoberman Criticism Target Laura (Riding) Jackson
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 10 Jun 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Gendering Classicism: The Ancient World in Twentieth-Century Women's Historical Fiction
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