By Jerome Charyn
“Remarkable perception . . . [a] distinct meditation/investigation. . . . Jerome Charyn the unpredictable, elusive, and enigmatic is a normal fit for Emily Dickinson, the quintessence of these." —Joyce Carol Oates, writer of untamed Nights! and The misplaced Landscape
We imagine we all know Emily Dickinson: the Belle of Amherst, virginal, reclusive, and probably mad. yet in A Loaded Gun, Jerome Charyn introduces us to another Emily Dickinson: the fierce, excellent, and sexually charged poet who wrote:
My existence had stood—a Loaded Gun—
Though I than He— may possibly longer live
He longer must—than I—
For i've got however the energy to kill,
Without—the strength to die—
Through interviews with modern students, shut readings of Dickinson's correspondence and handwritten manuscripts, and a suggestive, newly came across photo that's alleged to express Dickinson along with her lover, Charyn's literary sleuthing unearths the good poet in ways in which have purely been hinted at formerly: as a girl who was once deeply philosophical, intensely engaged with the realm, drawn to contributors of either sexes, and ready to write poetry that disturbs and delights us today.
Jerome Charyn is the writer of, such a lot lately, sour Bronx: 13 tales, i'm Abraham: a unique of Lincoln and the Civil warfare, and the key lifetime of Emily Dickinson: a singular. He lives in New York.
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Extra resources for A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century
Artaud's plans for subverting and revitalizing culture, h is longing for a new type of human personality illustrate the limits of all thinking about revolution which is anti-political. Cultural revolution that refuses to be pol itical has no· where to go but toward a theology of culture-and a soteriology. "I aspi re to another life," Artaud declares in 1927. All A rtaud·s work i s about salvation, theater being the means of saving souls which he meditated upon most deeply. Spiritual transformation is a goal on whose behalf theater has often been enlisted in this century, at least since Isadora Duncan.
What these doctrines have in com mon i s that they a re a11 relatively late, decadent transfor· mations of the Gnostic thematics. From Renaissance a lchemy Artaud d rew a model for his theate r : like the symbols of alchemy, theater describes "philosophical states of ma tter" and attempts to transform them. 58 Approaching A rtaud he was retu rned to France. But none of these already formulated, schematic, historically fossilized secret doc· trines could contain the convulsions of the l iving Gnostic imagi nation in A rtaud's head.
However, because it was not as an actor but as a d i rector that he hoped to advance the candidacy of these arts, he soon had to renounce one of them-cinema. Artaud was never given the means to d i rect a film of his own, and he saw his inten tions betrayed in a film of 1 928 that was m ade hy another d i rector from one of his screenplays, The Seashell and the Clergyman. His sense of defeat was reinforced in 1929 by the arrival of sound, a turning point in the history of film aestheti cs which Artaud wrongly prophesied-as did most of the small number of moviegoers ·who had taken films seriously throughout the n ineteen-twent ies-would termi nate cinema's greatness as an art form.