Apparition of Splendor: Marianne Moore Performing Democracy through Celebrity, 1952–1970 (Hardcover)

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While the later work of the great Modernist poet Marianne Moore was hugely popular during her final two decades, since her death critics have condemned it as trivial. This book challenges that assessment: with fresh readings of many of the late poems and of the iconic, cross-dressing public persona Moore developed to deliver them, Apparition of Splendor demonstrates that Moore used her late-life celebrity to activate egalitarian principles that had long animated her poetry, in daring and innovative ways. Dressed as George Washington in cape and tricorn and writing about accessible topics like sports, TV shows, holidays, love, activism, mortality and celebrity itself, she crossed the tracks from the elite precincts of obliquity where she had earlier flourished, and reached a wider cross-section of Americans, engaging them in consideration of what democracy means in their daily lives, around issues of gender, sexuality, racial integration, class, age, immigration, and speciesism. Her work resonates with that of her younger contemporaries, including poets like Ashbery, O’Hara, and Bishop, and artists like Warhol, Yoko Ono, and Ray Johnson.

"Apparition of Splendor is brilliant and necessary. It provides an extended look at Marianne Moore’s late poetry that no other book-length study has taken on…. Gregory’s deep expertise is evident throughout. Her discussions make visible startling networks of connections between poems, and – while maintaining keen focus on the late poems – briskly but sensitively draw upon the earlier poems to clarify continuities and suggest transformations. Her archival and extra-literary research, in Moore’s papers and in regard to general cultural contexts, is wonderfully on display with every page.
The subject of Moore’s late poetry is woefully understudied, and this book will conduct an important intervention in critical tendencies to dismiss this body of work. Apparition of Splendor is a major contribution to Moore studies and to studies of 20th-century American poetry.” - Linda Kinnahan, Duquesne University, author of Feminist Modernism, Poetics, and the New Economy: Mina Loy, Lola Ridge, and Marianne Moore
  Published by the University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.

About the Author

ELIZABETH GREGORY is a Taylor Professor of Gender & Sexuality Studies and Professor of English at the University of Houston, directing the Women's Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of Houston. She is the author of Ready: Why Women Are Embracing the New Later Motherhood and Quotation and Modern American Poetry: "'Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.'” 
Product Details
ISBN: 9781644531969
ISBN-10: 1644531968
Publisher: University of Delaware Press
Publication Date: August 13th, 2021
Pages: 280
Language: English