HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century (2016)

by Jerome Charyn

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4815399,634 (3.76)8
"We think we know Emily Dickinson: the Belle of Amherst, virginal, reclusive, and possibly mad. But in A Loaded Gun, Jerome Charyn introduces us to a different Emily Dickinson: the fierce, brilliant, and sexually charged. Through interviews with contemporary scholars, close readings of Dickinson's correspondence and handwritten manuscripts, and a suggestive, newly discovered photograph that is purported to show Dickinson with her lover, Charyn's literary sleuthing reveals the great poet in ways that have only been hinted at previously: as a woman who was deeply philosophical, intensely engaged with the world, attracted to members of both sexes, and able to write poetry that disturbs and delights us today" -- Publisher's description… (more)
  1. 00
    The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson: A Novel by Jerome Charyn (LeeRee)
    LeeRee: Between these two books, one a novel and one a study, you will understand Emily Dickinson and find more meaning in her poetry.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I couldn't let it go. I'd spent two years writing a novel about her, vaporizing her letters and poems, sucking the blood out of her bones, like some hunter of lost souls.~ Author's Note, A Loaded Gun by Jerome Charyn

After completing The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson, Jerome Charyn continued his obsession to write A Loaded Gun.

Charyn's essays draw from Dickinson's writings and scholarly studies in a search to finally pin down the slippery poet. Every time we think we have her pegged we find we are holding a void. She will not, can not, be categorized and shelved.

Charyn's novel The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson (on my TBR pile) did not offer him a sense of closure. "I knew less and less the more I learned about her," he admits.

In this book, he begins with my first encounter with Dickinson: Julie Harris's performance as The Belle of Amherst which I watched many times on a small black and white television. It was my first impression of the poet.

Charyn considers all the poet's relationships, from her companion Carlo, a Newfoundland dog, to her late in life love affair with Judge Otis, with all the thunderstruck men and heartbreaking women in between.

Emily's letters and poems show her deep passions. The spinster was no prude. She had strong loves, earth shattering heartbreaks, and was more than acquainted with despair.

Some chapters take us into roundabout side trips as Charyon explores the multiple influences of the poet. Relax, enjoy the ride.

I loved the chapter Ballerinas in a Box, beginning with the early 20th c poets who discovered Dickinson, to her love affair with Kate Scott, to the art of Joseph I. Cornell, to ballerinas, exploring the nature of art.

Charyn casts his net deep and wide, considering psychology and biography and retellings and imaginings.

Only to conclude that Emily wears too many masks to truly know her. She remains a mystery beyond our ken.

And we, like ghouls, try to toy with her biography, to link her language with her life. We cannot master her, never will, as if her own words skates on some torrid ice that is permanently beyond our pale, yet we seek and seek, as if somehow that soothes us, as if we might crack a certain code, when all we will ever have is "A Woe/of Ecstasy."~ from A Loaded Gun by Jerome Charyn

I purchased a copy of the book. ( )
1 vote nancyadair | Feb 22, 2020 |
I never read any Emily Dickinson before this book and turns out that's a good thing. This book is well written and the author's passion saves it, but not my favorite. For me, breakdown in the middle describing Joseph Cornell was the only interesting part of the book. ( )
1 vote Bricker | Jul 16, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is definitely for someone more familiar with Dickinson's work than I am. While I found it interesting, I was looking for a more basic biography of her life. This book is for the more serious student of her works. ( )
1 vote CatsandCherryPie | Jul 1, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An odd book. The tone is at times chatty, with small jokes and lots of sentences that start with "and." On the same page, though, there are interesting and detailed summaries of and quotations from Dickinson scholars' ideas about her life and work. While much of what Charyn says is factually based, he also includes quite a bit of speculation: "She must have gazed into Carlo's eyes and seen a mirror of her own wants" (76). (Carlo was Dickinson's beloved Newfoundland dog.) I enjoyed the scholarly material, and was sometimes charmed, sometimes annoyed by the tone. Eventually, though, the speculation was too much: I had to stop reading. I'm keeping it, anticipating its usefulness when I'm teaching Dickinson -- there's so much great information here -- but it didn't turn out to be the kind of book I want to read all the way through. ( )
1 vote susanbooks | Jun 21, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is just an absolutely fantastic biography, I think, not just for the depth of research and cross-disciplinary knowledge, and not just because it's a fair attempt to upset some of we think we know about Emily Dickinson. But also because Charyn is just a great writer.

An excellent, exciting read. ( )
1 vote Laura400 | Jun 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
I couldn't let go.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

"We think we know Emily Dickinson: the Belle of Amherst, virginal, reclusive, and possibly mad. But in A Loaded Gun, Jerome Charyn introduces us to a different Emily Dickinson: the fierce, brilliant, and sexually charged. Through interviews with contemporary scholars, close readings of Dickinson's correspondence and handwritten manuscripts, and a suggestive, newly discovered photograph that is purported to show Dickinson with her lover, Charyn's literary sleuthing reveals the great poet in ways that have only been hinted at previously: as a woman who was deeply philosophical, intensely engaged with the world, attracted to members of both sexes, and able to write poetry that disturbs and delights us today" -- Publisher's description

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Jerome Charyn's book A Loaded Gun: Emily Dickinson for the 21st Century was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.76)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 6
3.5 3
4 4
4.5 1
5 3

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 150,716,548 books! | Top bar: Always visible