Biography (Magill's Literary Annual 1983)
American writer Hilda Doolittle made her reputation in the years during and immediately after World War I as the Imagist poet H. D., author of beautiful, crystalline lyrics and friend of Ezra Pound, Amy Lowell, D. H. Lawrence, and other well-known literary figures. By the time of her death in 1961, however, her name had almost faded from public view, except for a sentence or two in literary histories and an occasional poem in an anthology. Recently there has been a resurgence of interest in her work. End to Torment, her memoir of Pound, was published in 1979; HERmione, a novel, in 1981; The Gift, recollections of her childhood, in 1982. Several volumes of her poetry, including her World War II poems collected in Trilogy (1973) and her epic, Helen in Egypt (1961), were reprinted during the 1970’s. Scholars have paid increasing attention to her work in the last decade, and feminist critics have begun to examine her career as a model of the struggle of the woman artist in a patriarchal environment.
Janice S. Robinson’s book draws on this feminist approach to H. D.’s life and work, but it is much more than an account of a writer’s attempt to achieve independence in the face of attacks from oppressive men. Robinson has read the work of H. D. and her contemporaries extensively; the book is the product of twelve years of research. It is neither a conventional biography nor a survey of H. D.’s literary...
(The entire section is 2180 words.)
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