"These two hard-to-come-by texts reveal that the H.D. we know--the poet of exquisite, erudite, allusive imagist or modernist poems--chose to live through the experience of WWII London and to share with her fellow Londoners the hardships and anxieties of a city under attack."--Demetres Tryphonopoulos, editor of Majic Ring
"Fascinating reading. Debo’s introduction and precise scholarly edition are not simply useful but will also change our minds about some of the other post-war works now available."--Cynthia Hogue, coeditor of The Sword Went Out to Sea
This volume presents two rare works by the modernist writer H.D.: Within the Walls, a collection of fourteen short stories, and What Do I Love?, a set of three long poems. Written during World War II in London, where H.D. chose to stay despite offers of refuge in the United States, the stories and poems recount her experiences during the Blitz. These texts capture the essence of war-torn London from the perspective of a woman with her boots on the ground.
Annette Debo's nuanced introduction sets the cultural scene for these works. She positions the literature in three contexts: H.D.'s personal life, the story of women civilians at war, and the international history of World War II. Debo helps us comprehend a time and place that transformed "H.D. Imagiste" into the bold war writer evinced in this volume and opens our eyes to the impact of these war experiences on H.D.’s better known works.
H.D. (born Hilda Doolittle, 1886-1961) was an American writer who exerted enormous influence on modernist poetry and prose. Annette Debo is professor of English at Western Carolina University. She is the author of The American H.D. and the coeditor of Approaches to Teaching H.D.’s Poetry and Prose.
A superb edition of H.D.’s little-known collection of 14 short stories, Within the Walls, and set of three long poems, What do I Love?. . . .Gives insights into H.D.’s personal life, the difficulties and anxieties of a city at war and under attack, and the broader international stage that informed both the times and H.D.’s cultural and literary production. . . .Highly recommended.-- Choice
Recovers two largely forgotten texts that implicitly provide insight into how the poet refashioned her visionary syncretism, particularly as a blending of dream and waking...during the London Blitz and the later events of the Second World War....and can help us valuably recast how H.D. regarded her wartime projects as a social derivation and exertion of her transformative Alchemical Will, in a time of crisis.-- Journal of Modern Literature
This book allows us to see H.D. from within the walls of her study as well as from within the walls of the precarious body, and the figurative walls trapping the residents of London. . . . Debo reveals a poet who cannot help but become a "war poet" during the crisis, a woman who puts her body and mind at risk to survive and to create against all odds. -- Resources for American Literary Study