Rachel Blau DuPlessis is a poet and feminist literary critic living in Swarthmore, PA, and teaching at Temple University. Her book of literary criticism,
Writing Beyond the Ending: Narrative Strategies of Twentieth Century Women Writers
is just out from Indiana University Press. The complete text of "Writing" will appear next fall in the first issue of Ottotole,
a new publication of prose and "writing about writing" edited by Gail Sher and Michael Amneson. Her essay, "For the Etruscans," will be included in New Feminist Criticism: Essays on Women, Literature and Theory,
edited by Elaine Showalter, Pantheon, due late spring.
WORKING NOTES FROM Rachel Blau DuPlessis:
Writing from the center of, the centers of, otherness. . . Understanding formal marginality. Marginalization. Setting the poem so there is a bringing of marginalization into writing. Putting that debate right in the piece by making several sayings or statements be in the same page-space. Making poetry and writing be in the same page-space. . . As to the subject: a first or really second month of a baby who comes as otherness, as difference, which cannot necessarily be understood easily, but demands to, needs to be felt, understood. . . creating marks: pen, smudge, letters, things that make marks or take impressions (Baby wipes). Handwriting (inc. in text). Repression in mind. Writing to remember. Drawing distinctions. Things on the side, things in the center, blurring distinctions. Allusions to cross genre, or messing up (Ashley, quilts). Genres that create themselves as imperfect. To write into silence. Poetry too pretty; creating "beauty"? Creating chora. Beginning-middle-end, ha.