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Pursuing Privacy in Cold War America.

By: Nelson, Deborah.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Gender and Culture Series: Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, 2012Description: 1 online resource (235 p.).ISBN: 9780231528696.Subject(s): American poetry - 20th century - History and criticism | American poetry -- 20th century -- History and criticism | Autobiography in literature | Cold War in literature | Confession in literature | Literature and society - United States - History - 20th century | Literature and society -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Privacy - United States - History - 20th century | Privacy -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Privacy in literature | Privacy in literature | Privacy, Right of - United States - History - 20th century | Privacy, Right of -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Self in literatureGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Pursuing Privacy in Cold War AmericaDDC classification: 306.0973 | 811.54080355 LOC classification: PS310.P75 N45Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Contents; Introduction: The Death of Privacy ; Acknowledgments; 1. Reinventing Privacy ; 2. "Thirsting for the Hierarchic Privacy of Queen Victoria''s Century": Robert Lowell and the Transformation of Privacy ; 3. Penetrating Privacy: Confessional Poetry, Griswold v. Connecticut, and Containment Ideology ; 4. Confessions Between a Woman and Her Doctor: Roe v. Wade and the Gender of Privacy ; 5. Confessing the Ordinary: Paul Monette''s Love Alone and Bowers v. Hardwick, An Epilogue; Notes; Works Cited; Index
Summary: Pursuing Privacy in Cold War America explores the relationship between confessional poetry and constitutional privacy doctrine, both of which emerged at the end of the 1950s. While the public declarations of the Supreme Court and the private declamations of the lyric poet may seem unrelated, both express the upheavals in American notions of privacy that marked the Cold War era. Nelson situates the poetry and legal decisions as part of a far wider anxiety about privacy that erupted across the social, cultural, and political spectrum during this period. She explores the panic over the "death of privacy" aroused by broad changes in postwar culture: the growth of suburbia, the advent of television, the popularity of psychoanalysis, the arrival of computer databases, and the spectacles of confession associated with McCarthyism.Examining this interchange between poetry and law at its most intense moments of reflection in the 1960s, ''70s, and ''80s, Deborah Nelson produces a rhetorical analysis of a privacy concept integral to postwar America''s self-definition and to bedrock contradictions in Cold War ideology. Nelson argues that the desire to stabilize privacy in a constitutional right and the movement toward confession in postwar American poetry were not simply manifestations of the anxiety about privacy. Supreme Court justices and confessional poets such as Anne Sexton, Robert Lowell, W. D. Snodgrass, and Sylvia Plath were redefining the nature of privacy itself. Close reading of the poetry alongside the Supreme Court''s shifting definitions of privacy in landmark decisions reveals a broader and deeper cultural metaphor at work.
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Contents; Introduction: The Death of Privacy ; Acknowledgments; 1. Reinventing Privacy ; 2. "Thirsting for the Hierarchic Privacy of Queen Victoria''s Century": Robert Lowell and the Transformation of Privacy ; 3. Penetrating Privacy: Confessional Poetry, Griswold v. Connecticut, and Containment Ideology ; 4. Confessions Between a Woman and Her Doctor: Roe v. Wade and the Gender of Privacy ; 5. Confessing the Ordinary: Paul Monette''s Love Alone and Bowers v. Hardwick, An Epilogue; Notes; Works Cited; Index

Pursuing Privacy in Cold War America explores the relationship between confessional poetry and constitutional privacy doctrine, both of which emerged at the end of the 1950s. While the public declarations of the Supreme Court and the private declamations of the lyric poet may seem unrelated, both express the upheavals in American notions of privacy that marked the Cold War era. Nelson situates the poetry and legal decisions as part of a far wider anxiety about privacy that erupted across the social, cultural, and political spectrum during this period. She explores the panic over the "death of privacy" aroused by broad changes in postwar culture: the growth of suburbia, the advent of television, the popularity of psychoanalysis, the arrival of computer databases, and the spectacles of confession associated with McCarthyism.Examining this interchange between poetry and law at its most intense moments of reflection in the 1960s, ''70s, and ''80s, Deborah Nelson produces a rhetorical analysis of a privacy concept integral to postwar America''s self-definition and to bedrock contradictions in Cold War ideology. Nelson argues that the desire to stabilize privacy in a constitutional right and the movement toward confession in postwar American poetry were not simply manifestations of the anxiety about privacy. Supreme Court justices and confessional poets such as Anne Sexton, Robert Lowell, W. D. Snodgrass, and Sylvia Plath were redefining the nature of privacy itself. Close reading of the poetry alongside the Supreme Court''s shifting definitions of privacy in landmark decisions reveals a broader and deeper cultural metaphor at work.

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Nelson (Univ. of Chicago) introduces and develops important ideas with this contribution to the "Gender and Culture" series. Taking a feminist and consistently gendered view of reality--i.e., "masculinity is to privacy as femininity is to exposure"--the author sees the 1950s idea of privacy as a fantasy that was superseded by the "new privacies" that emerged with the breakdown of patriarchal privacy. Her approach is often provocative and her research exhaustive. She explores how Cold War containment, as a metaphor and as a practice, influenced the privacy controversy that began in the late 1950s. She concentrates on the linkages between constitutional law and confessional poetry for their active engagement with the rhetoric of privacy. Nelson argues for a strong relationship between the Supreme Court's fashioning of a right to privacy (Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, Bowers v. Harwick) and what she terms the extravagant self-disclosures of the confessional poets. She offers close and perceptive readings of Robert Lowell, Ann Sexton, Sylvia Plath, and Maxine Kumin. The epilogue is an engaging essay exploring Paul Monette's Love Alone: 18 Elegies for Rog (1988) and Bowers v. Hardwick. The volume contains extensive notes. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. L. Berk Ulster County Community College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Deborah Nelson is assistant professor of English and gender studies at the University of Chicago.

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