Summer 1952 • Vol. XIV No. 3 Book Reviews |

A Plea for the Essay

Emily Dickinson. A biography by Richard Chase. Sloane. $4.00 The Riddle of Emily Dickinson by Rebecca Patterson. Houghton, Mifflin. $4.50 To these books this review intends to be unfair, but in what is the good cause of economy—good housekeeping—in criticism and biography. In that house, economy most often consists in knowing what not to develop, what to cut down, and what to leave out altogether; and this review will attempt to follow its own lessons: no dead horses will be found in these marshes—unless they be the publishing habits of our country. Not that these two books can be lumped together except in their titular subjects; some initial discrimination must be made. Mrs. Patterson deals with a wisp of her will which she mistakes for a flaring light just across the bogs of learning, but it is only a fancy-light if it is a light at all. There is no objection to fancy-lights, but the will and skill of the mind ought to be prevented from making them masquerade either

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Emily Dickinson. A biography by Richard Chase. Sloane. $4.00 The Riddle of Emily Dickinson by Rebecca Patterson. Houghton, Mifflin. $4.50 To these books this review intends to be unfair, but […]

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By R. P. Blackmur

Emily Dickinson. A biography by Richard Chase. Sloane. $4.00 The Riddle of Emily Dickinson by Rebecca Patterson. Houghton, Mifflin. $4.50 To these books this review intends to be unfair, but […]

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