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Volume 12, Number 1 (1987)

The Case of the Forgotten Electra: Pickthall's Apostrophes and Feminine Poetics

  • Alex Kizuk
May 22, 2008


Marjorie Pickthall's verse might best be described as an intense apostrophe to literary beauty: a turning away from the trial to address the judges in impassioned language that an audience may only overhear. Her poems draw upon a body of literary precedents in order to construct a coherent and fantastic defence against unsatisfied desire and what she perceived to be a fundamental incoherence in modern life. Pickthall's lyrics represent a species of early modern poetry which developed in Canada before the New Provinces poets privileged irony over beauty and truth.