Muriel Rukeyser

Shira Wolosky (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
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Muriel Rukeyser is a distinctive, indeed dissident, voice in American letters, something reflected in the relative lack of commentary on her work. Emerging as a writer at the time the New Criticism was taking hold in the American academy, Rukeyser's work defied all its norms. The New Criticism idealized a poetry that was chiseled and iconic in form, a self-enclosed object of language referring to itself regardless of historical context, biographical reference, or cultural frame. Rukeyser, instead, saw her writing as a direct activism in cultural, political, and social concerns. She considered poetic language to be not a self-referring enclosure, but a permeable boundary with other kinds of discourses and social practices. She thus rejected the New Critical aesthetic, which in turn…

2616 words

Citation: Wolosky, Shira. "Muriel Rukeyser". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 March 2009 [, accessed 14 July 2024.]

3884 Muriel Rukeyser 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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