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“But with this I’m embodied”: H.D.’s public photographic portraits, 1913-1958

journal contribution
posted on 08.01.2021, 16:54 by Sarah ParkerSarah Parker, Jade French
Questions of image were intensely important to H.D. Whether through the precise Imagism of her early poetry or her later work in cinema, H.D.’s career involved a lifelong engagement with image-making. But one important aspect of this has been overlooked: H.D.’s photographic portraiture. This article reveals that photography was central to H.D.’s authorial self-fashioning. Our article analyzes and contextualizes H.D.’s public photographic portraits from the 1910s to the 1950s, revealing how H.D. constructed her authorial persona along visual as well as textual lines, adapting her image across the decades. We concentrate on three key stages of H.D.’s emergence and re-emergence, centred on particular creative periods: the launching of “H.D. Imagiste,” coinciding with her first published poems in 1913 and her debut volume Sea Garden (1916); the transition from muse to medusa as a result of H.D.’s cinematic apprenticeship in the 1920s and 1930s; and finally, H.D.’s re-emergence in the 1950s, in which she embraced her mature image as an androgynous prophetess, using this persona to promote her final works Helen in Egypt and Bid Me to Live (both 1960). We ultimately argue that H.D. developed a more empowering negotiation of aging, gender and public image compared to other female modernists.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • English

Published in

Feminist Modernist Studies

Volume

4

Issue

1

Pages

93 - 124

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Taylor & Francis

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Feminist Modernist Studies on 25 Jan 2021, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/24692921.2021.1873021.

Acceptance date

06/01/2021

Publication date

2021-01-25

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

2469-2921

eISSN

2469-293X

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Sarah Parker. Deposit date: 6 January 2021

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