Taking readers through the various stages of criticism of Emily Dickinson's poetry, this guide identifies both the essential critical texts and the key debates within them. The texts chosen for discussion represent the canonical readings which have typically shaped the area of Dickinson studies throughout the twentieth- and twenty-first century and provide a lens through which to view current critical trends.
Chapters focus on style and meaning, gender and sexuality, history and race, religion and hymn culture, and performance and popular culture. In all, this guide serves as a user-friendly reference tool to the vast body of criticism on Dickinson to date by suggesting formative starting points and underlining essential critical highlights.
It provides students and scholars of Dickinson with a sense of where these critical texts can be placed in relation to one another, as well as an understanding of pivotal moments within the history of reception of Dickinson from late nineteenth-century reviews up to some of the definitive critical interventions of the twenty-first century.