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HILDA DOOLITTLE By Tyler Richardson
EARLY LIFE • Hilda Doolittle was born on September 10, 1886 in Bethlehem, PA. • Her parents were Professor Charles Doolittle and Helen Wolle. • Hilda moved to Philadelphia, PA when she was 9 years old. • Much of her child hood she suffered from insecurity and sibling rivalry.
COLLEGE LIFE • H. D. attended Bryn Mawr College in 1904. • While attending she became good friends with Ezra Pound & Marianne Moore. • She failed English in college, but began to take Greek more serious. • In 1906, her sophomore year, H. D. dropped out of college due to poor health.
AFTER COLLEGE • For the next 5 years H. D. began to study Greek and Latin literature. • She attempted translation and wrote some poems. • H. D. traveled to Europe for a vacation, but later stayed permanently in Switzerland England. • With the help of Ezra Pound ( to whom she was briefly engaged to. . twice), she was introduced to London’s Literary Circles and there met Richard Aldington.
LIFE IN EUROPE • Hilda Doolittle married Aldington on October 18, 1913 in Kensington. • Later in 1916, however, Aldington left for World War One. She replaced him as the editor of the Egoist. • During Aldington’s absence, H. D. became very ill due to her father’s death in 1919 and the stresses of the war. (her brother died fighting in France) H. D. was also pregnant during this time.
EUROPE CONTINUED • She ended up separating from Aldington in 1919. • On March 31 st, 1919 she gave birth to her daughter Frances Perdita, or just Perdita. The father was Cecil Gray, a friend of D. H. Lawrence, (whom she also had intense relations with).
LATER ON • Met Winifred Ellerman (also known as Bryher. ) The two became “good friends” and were together throughout each other’s many relationships (and Winifred’s marriages). People often criticized H. D. for her bisexuality. • H. D. lived during WW 2. • Hilda Doolittle suffered a mental breakdown and returned back to Switzerland. • In 1961, Hilda Doolittle died in Switzerland after a stroke and coma.
IMAGIST WRITING • H. D. was one of greatest imagist writers in history. • Imagist writing: based on common speech, free moving, a musical phrase rather than a distinct structure. (H. D. had lyric art written about intense feelings by using free structure)
THEMES • Revision of renewal and peace. • The intersection of the historical and the personal in her stance as a woman. • Modernist sense of quest in a shattered and war-torn world. • Sense of the sacred, manifested in both female and male forms • Exploration of language.
HER LIFE IN LITERATURE • Began writing after dropping out of college. She attempted translating Latin and wrote a few poems. • Her love for Greek and Latin art and literature is focused on in her writing.
HELEN OF TROY • http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=2 Vg. Epl 3 qd 8 o&NR=1&feature=e ndscreen
HELEN BY H. D. All Greece hates the still eyes in the white face, the lustre as of olives where she stands, and the white hands. All Greece reviles the wan face when she smiles, hating it deeper still when it grows wan and white, remembering past enchantments and past ills. Greece sees, unmoved, God's daughter, born of love, the beauty of cool feet and slenderest knees, could love indeed the maid, only if she were laid, white ash amid funereal cypresses.
WORKS • Poetry: • Helen in Egypt. New York: Grove Press, 1961. • Hermetic Definition. New York: New Directions Publication, Corp. , 1972. • Collected Poems, 1912 -1944. New York: New Directions, 1983. • Memoirs: • Tribute to Freud. New York: Pantheon, 1956. • End to Torment: a Memoir of Ezra. New York: New Directions Publication, Corp. , 1979.
WORKS CONTINUED • Novels: • Des Imagistes. (with Richard Aldington; Skipwith Cannell, John Cournos, F. S. Flint, Ford Madox Ford, James Joyce, Amy Lowell, Ezra Pound, Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer, Allen Upward, and Carlos Williams) London: Poetry Bookshop, 1914. • Palimpsest. Boston; New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. , 1926. • Nights. Dijon, France: Imprimerie Darantiere, 1935. • Bid Me to Live: a Madrigal. New York: Grover Press, 1960 • HERmione. New York: New Directions Publication, Corp. , 1981. • The Gift. London: Virago, 1982
WORKS CITED • "Doolittle, Hilda. " World Authors 1900 -1950 (1996): Biography Reference Bank (H. W. Wilson). Web. 11 Nov. 2012. • Gilbert, Sandra M. , and Susan Gubar. The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women. New York [u. a. : Norton, 2007. Print.