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Roughton, R.E. (1984). Psyche Reborn: The Emergence of H. D.. Psychoanal Q., 53:614-619.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:614-619

Psyche Reborn: The Emergence of H. D.

Review by:
Ralph E. Roughton

By Susan Stanford Friedman. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981. 332 pp.

H. D.: THE LIFE AND WORK OF AN AMERICAN POET. By Janice S. Robinson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1982. 490 pp.

The literary world has appreciatively anthologized the poetry of H. D. (Hilda Doolittle, 1886-1961) as the supreme example of the Imagist movement, which (from 1913) flourished for only a brief moment in literary history but nevertheless had a lasting influence on the direction of modern poetry. The scope of H. D.'s contribution to other literary forms has been less well known. Her reputation, too closely linked to "the perfect Imagist poem," has been limited by the often expressed view that her art was too fragile for the harsh modern world (Friedman, p. ix).

Now with the publication of these two studies, both of which make use of previously unavailable letters, memoirs, and manuscripts, H. D. emerges in a new dimension as a woman and as an artist. Her life and her art were an intricately intertwined quest. Self-discoveries infused her art, which evolved through a profound exploration of a woman's experience in a male-dominated world. Culminating in her most mature work, Helen in Egypt, which was first published just before her death at age seventy-five, the personal quest was wedded to the mythic quest to achieve a timeless and universal feminine perspective to stand alongside the traditional patriarchal foundations of Western culture.

H. D. and these two books hold special interest for psychoanalyst-readers on several counts: (1) H.

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