Writing in Time

Emily Dickinson's Master Hours

Subjects: Literary Criticism, Poetry
Open Access : 9781943208197, 126 pages, 11 x 11, February 2021
Paperback : 9781943208180, 126 pages, 11 x 11, April 2021
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Winner of the 2023 Richard J. Finneran Award for the best book about editorial theory or practice.

For more than half a century, the story of Emily Dickinson’s “Master” documents has been the largely biographical tale of three letters to an unidentified individual. Writing in Time seeks to tell a different story—the story of the documents themselves. Rather than presenting the “Master” documents as quarantined from Dickinson’s larger scene of textual production, Marta Werner’s innovative new edition proposes reading them next to Dickinson’s other major textual experiment in the years between ca. 1858–1861: the Fascicles. In both, Dickinson can be seen testing the limits of address and genre in order to escape bibliographical determination and the very coordinates of “mastery” itself. A major event in Dickinson scholarship, Writing in Time: Emily Dickinson’s Master Hours proposes new constellations of Dickinson’s work as well as exciting new methodologies for textual scholarship as an act of “intimate editorial investigation.”

Marta Werner is the Martin J. Svaglic Chair in Textual Studies and Loyola University Chicago. Her previous publications include, with Jen Bervin, The Gorgeous Nothings (Granary Books, 2012; New Directions, 2013); Radical Scatters: An Electronic Archive of Emily Dickinson’s Late Fragments and Related Texts (University of Michigan Press, 1999; republished by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2010); with Nicholas Lawrence, Ordinary Mysteries: The Common Journal of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne (The American Philosophical Society, 2006); and Emily Dickinson’s Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing (University of Michigan Press, 1995). She also co-edited The Networked Recluse (Amherst College Press, 2017), which accompanied The Morgan Library exhibition, “’I’m Nobody—Who are You’: The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson.”

"[O]ne of the most profound recent examinations of the workings of Dickinson’s poetics."

- Branka Arsic