For the first time, this volume brings together essays by feminist, Americanist, and theater scholars who apply a variety of sophisticated critical approaches to Susan Glaspell’s entire oeuvre. Glaspell’s one-act play, “Trifles,” and the short story that she constructed from it, “A Jury of Her Peers,” have drawn the attention of many feminist critics, but the rest of her writing—the short stories, plays and novels—is largely unknown. The essays gathered here will allow students of literature, women’s studies and theater studies an insight into the variety and scope of her oeuvre.
Glaspell’s political and literary thinking was radicalized by the turbulent Greenwich Village environment of the first decades of the twentieth century, by progressive-era social movements and by modernist literary and theatrical innovation. The focus of Glaspell studies has, till recently, been dominated by the feminist imperative to recover a canon of silenced women writers and, in particular, to restore Glaspell to her rightful place in American drama. Transcending the limitations generated by such a specific agenda, the contributors to this volume approach Glaspell’s work as a dialogic intersection of genres, texts, and cultural phenomena—a method that is particularly apt for Glaspell, who moved between genres with a unique fluidity, creating such modernist masterpieces as
The Verge or Brook Evans. This volume establishes Glaspell’s work as an “intersection of textual surfaces,” resulting for the first time in the complex aesthetic appreciation that her varied life’s work merits.
Martha C. Carpentier received her doctorate at Fordham University and is Professor of English at Seton Hall University, New Jersey. She is the author of
Susan Glaspell’s Major Novels (UP of Florida, 2001) and of
Ritual, Myth, and the Modernist Text: The Influence of Jane Ellen Harrison on Joyce, Eliot, and Woolf (Gordon and Breach, 1998). Carpentier is one of the founders of the Susan Glaspell Society, as well as its current vice-president and web master.
Barbara Ozieblo teaches American literature, with emphasis on women writers and drama, at the University of Málaga, Spain; she is the author of
Susan Glaspell: A Critical Biography, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2000, and editor of
The Provincetown Players: A Choice of the Shorter Plays (Sheffield Academic Press, 1994). Ozieblo is one of the founders of the Susan Glaspell Society, as well as its current president.
Table of contents
Martha C. CARPENTIER and Barbara OZIEBLO: Introduction
Mary E. PAPKE: Susan Glaspell’s Naturalist Scenarios of Determinism and Blind Faith
Martha C. CARPENTIER: Apollonian Form and Dionysian Excess in Susan Glaspell’s Drama and Fiction
Marcia NOE and Robert MARLOWE:
Suppressed Desires and
Tickless Time: An Intertextual Critique of Modernity
Susan KOPRINCE: The Narrow House: Glaspell’s
Trifles and Wharton’s
Ethan Frome Monica STUFFT: Flowers by Design: Susan Glaspell’s Re-vision of Strindberg’s
A Dream Play Rytch BARBER: American Expressionism and the New Woman: Glaspell, Treadwell, Bonner and a Dramaturgy of Social Conscience
Drew EISENHAUER: She and She: Rachel Crothers and Susan Glaspell’s Turn to Playwriting
Barbara OZIEBLO: Silenced Mothers and Questing Daughters in Susan Glaspell’s Mature Novels
Kecia Driver MCBRIDE: Silence and the Struggle for Representational Space in the Art of Susan Glaspell
Karen H. GARDINER: Reaching for “Out There”: Susan Glaspell’s Rhetoric of the Female Artist
Kristina HINZ-BODE: Social Rebels? Male Characters in Susan Glaspell’s Writing
Cynthia STRETCH: Socialist Housekeeping:
The Visioning, Sisterhood, and Cross-Class Alliance
Caroline Violet FLETCHER: “Rules of the Institution”: Susan Glaspell and Sisterhood
Colette LINDROTH: America Unmasked: Cultural Commentary in Susan Glaspell’s Short Fiction
Linda BEN-ZVI: The Political as Personal in the Writing of Susan Glaspell