You are on page 1of 32

Poetics Today

Authorial Presence in Poetry:


Some Cognitive Reappraisals

Margaret H. Freeman
Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts

Mary Thomas Crane, Shakespeare’s Brain: Reading with Cognitive Theory. Princeton,
NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001. x 1 265 pp.
Jed Deppman, Trying to Think with Emily Dickinson. Amherst: University of Massa-
chusetts Press, 2008. x 1 278 pp.
Norman N. Holland, The Brain of Robert Frost: A Cognitive Approach to Literature.
New York: Routledge, 1988. viii 1 200 pp.
Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese, Cognitive Poetic Readings in Elizabeth Bishop: Portrait of a
Mind Thinking. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2010. viii 1317 pp.

Authorial presence in poetry may take several forms depending on reader


perceptions. Past studies in literary criticism have dealt with, among other
issues, inferences readers make of an author’s identity, attitudes, and moral
positions; questions of reliable/unreliable relations between narrator and
author (implied or historical); and problems associated with discerning
authorial intention.1 In this essay I review some theories and methodologies
that focus on the cognitive processes involved in creating and responding to
literary texts, especially Shakespearean drama and poetry.
1. Studies are too numerous to cite. However, a useful overview of reader response to authorial
identity is in Claassen 2012: 1 – 59. Tamar Yacobi (1981, 2000, 2001, 2005) provides extensive
theoretical examinations of the reliabilty/unreliability question with useful bibliographies of
resources. The problem of author intention dates back to Wimsatt and Beardsley 1946, with
much subsequent discussion (see Gibbs 1999 and Landa 1991 for an overview).

Poetics Today 36:3 (September 2015) DOI 10.1215/03335372-3160733


q 2016 by Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

202 Poetics Today 36:3

Readers understand authorial presence in literature in at least two


ways. Some make direct connections between the writer’s life and literary
works; others distance the writer’s real, “historical” self by invoking an autho-
rial self or poetic persona. From experiments designed to explore the ways
readers of prose fiction generate inferences of authorial identity, intention,
and moral position, Eefje Claassen (2012) provides empirical evidence that
some readers do in fact construct images of a real-life author. Her exper-
iments support the hypothesis that some readers, regardless of whether they
know anything about the historical author, make a default assumption “that
the author is a morally acceptable person.” When asked to name a morally
unacceptable author, only a few complied. Claassen notes (ibid.: 142): “Not
surprisingly, all of the authors mentioned were once controversial, either
through their work, their comments in the public domain, or both.” An
egregious example of an immediate negative response to a work of literature
is the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses.
When adverse biographical details about the writer of well-respected
literary texts emerge, some readers react by devaluing the literature. Robert
Frost’s posthumous reputation suffered after Lawrance Thompson’s three-
volume biography (Thompson 1966, 1970; Thompson and Winnick 1976)
revealed the darker sides of his character. Similarly, literary circles in
England were horrified to learn that their beloved Philip Larkin, offered
the post of poet laureate in 1984, was revealed in his correspondence to be
a misogynist and a pornographer, a bigot and a racist ( James 2012).2 These
responses indicate that some readers do indeed tend to project an image or
feeling about the real-life author into their readings of literary texts.
Responding to the furor surrounding Larkin that resulted in many readers
downgrading his poetry because of the man, Clive James (2012) commented
that “Philip Larkin really was the greatest poet of his time, and he really did
say noxious things. But he didn’t say them in his poems, which he thought of
as a realm of responsibility in which he would have to answer for what he said,
and answer forever.”3 James’s comment suggests that Larkin, by not reveal-
2. Seamus Heaney (1996: 61) refers to the “punitive strain . . . in literary circles” in a book he
edited with two other Nobel laureates, Joseph Brodsky and Derek Walcott, which sought to
reclaim Frost’s reputation. Likewise, Malcolm Farley (2010) traces a decline in Frost’s repu-
tation among general readers and academic circles after Thompson published his biography.
Clive James (2012) notes “the rush of dunces” in the English tabloids after Larkin’s literary
executors published his correspondence and remarks that “in [Bonnie Greer’s] view (in the Mail
on Sunday), there was no need to worry about Larkin the racist, because Larkin the poet was not
very good anyway.” James (ibid.) concludes, “Invited to attack the man, they have downrated
the poet as well.”
3. James’s quote about Larkin assumes the existence of a successful author as an integrated self
exerting absolute control over intended meaning. In an article in Poetics Today problematizing

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 203

ing his own beliefs and attitudes in his poems, is in effect presenting an
idealized version of himself in his literary works.
This idealized version has been variously identified as a writer’s “second
self ” or as an “implied author.” In his essay on George Eliot, Edward
Dowden (1872: 403) writes of
that second self who writes her books, and lives and speaks through them. Such a
second self of an author is perhaps more substantial than any mere human per-
sonality encumbered with the accidents of flesh and blood and daily living. It
stands at some distance from the primary self, and differs considerably from its
fellow. It presents its person to us with fewer reserves; it is independent of local and
temporary motives of speech or of silence; it knows no man after the flesh; it is more
than an individual; it utters secrets, but secrets which all men of all ages are to
catch; while, behind it, lurks well pleased the veritable historical self secure from
impertinent observation and criticism. With this second self of George Eliot it is,
not with the actual historical person, that we have to do.

In taking up the question of this “second self ” in an author’s work, Wayne


C. Booth (1961: 73) notes:
It is a curious fact that we have no terms either for this created “second self ” or for
our relationship with him. None of our terms for various aspects of the narrator is
quite accurate. “Persona,” “mask,” and “narrator” are sometimes used, but they
more commonly refer to the speaker in the work who is after all only one of the
elements created by the implied author and who may be separated from him by
large ironies. “Narrator” is usually taken to mean the “I” of the work, but the “I” is
seldom if ever identical with the implied image of the artist.

The question of this idealized version of the author does not only occur when
considering prose narrative. Emily Dickinson was at pains to point out in an
1862 letter to Thomas Wentworth Higginson that “when I state myself, as the
Representative of the Verse — it does not mean — me — but a supposed per-
son” ( Johnson 1965, 2:412, L268).4
Another issue that arises as a consequence of readers’ responses to or
constructions of authorial presence is the question of authorial intentionality:
how readers interpret what an author “means” to say. The intentional falla-
cy, as it is now widely known, was very much the product of the New Critics,
who believed in the autonomy of the literary text. It was originally formulated
by William K. Wimsatt Jr. and Monroe C. Beardsley (1946: 468; 1954: 3)
to caution against using authorial intention to judge quality: “The design or

such an assumption, H. Porter Abbott (2011) makes a persuasive case for differing levels of
intentionality: an author is real and singular; authorial intentions are potential and multiple.
4. Dickinson’s letters are customarily cited by number.

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

204 Poetics Today 36:3

intention of the author is neither available nor desirable as a standard


for judging the success of a work of literary art.” Commenting later on
critical responses to their intentional fallacy theory, Wimsatt (1976 [1968]:
36) clarified the idea of the “effective intention or operative mind as it appears in
the work itself.” The original statement about it in the 1946 and 1954 versions
of the essay just quoted was revised by Wimsatt as follows: “The design or
intention of the author is neither available nor desirable as a standard for
judging either the meaning or the value of a work of literary art” (ibid.: 36; my
emphasis). Wimsatt’s inclusion of “meaning” in his sentence freed readers
from considering authorial intention as a criterion for their interpretations,
and this freedom, as Seán Burke (1995: 67) notes, indirectly led to the rise of
deconstruction and other postmodern theories that dispensed with the
author altogether.5 Despite these attacks on authorial agency and intention,
most classical literary scholarship, as Meir Sternberg (2003: 309) notes, is
oriented to a communicative-intentional model. In the last part of the twen-
tieth century, literary scholars who explored the possibilities of applying
cognitive science methodologies to literary texts still pretty much adhered
to exploring authorial intention through meaning (see Gibbs 1999: 234 – 72
for an overview).
Historically, then, the question of the representation of the author in lit-
erature has focused on meaning and interpretation. This focus has encour-
aged discussions of the interactions between author and reader: how readers
decode what authors have encoded in the literary text, with language the
medium in question. For conventional discourse, whether oral or written,
successful communication is marked by the achievement of shared meaning
among participants, when hearers or readers correctly interpret the commu-
nicative intention of speakers or writers. As a result, various critical theories
and methodologies dealing with authorial presence in literature have tended
to rely on close adherence either to the communicative principles of ordinary
discourse, in which authorial intention can be determined by a text’s internal
evidence, or to the expressive, often labeled “aesthetic,” principles of literary
form, in which external factors such as historical context become relevant in
discovering authorial intention (Landa 1991). The notion that one must
5. Roland Barthes (1977 [1968]) rejected authorial presence in his essay “The Death of the
Author.” Subsequent post-structural criticism went even further by displacing a single author in
favor of multiple discourse functions grounded in the proliferation of meaning (Derrida 1976;
Foucault 1977; Lacan 1977). Note that Wimsatt and Beardsley were not denying authorial
agency but simply warning against using intention as a standard for evaluation or interpretation.
This difference was lost in subsequent postmodern theories that undermined the concept of a
historical author.

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 205

embrace one or the other is, according to William Irwin (2002), both an
implicit and an explicit injunction.
These historical debates have been exhaustively treated over the past
century. It is not my goal to rehearse their complex arguments, since they
all adopt a too narrow perspective on interpretation and meaning, focusing
on either a reader-oriented or an author-oriented approach to the exclusion
of, in Sternberg’s (2012: 432) words, “the functional mode of communication:
the one because it fails to recognize authorial control as cause and guide of
our response, the other because it fails to start from and correlate with the
reader’s response as effect.” Either focus is ultimately reductive in failing to
recognize Sternberg’s “Proteus Principle”: the flexibility of the mind to make
many-to-many connections among functions and forms, the inherent ambi-
guity of text-to-world mimesis, the double motivations of “artistic function
and imaged reality,” among others (ibid.: 458 – 63). Rather, I raise the ques-
tion to what extent current research based on cognitive science method-
ologies can contribute new perspectives to the long-standing problems of
discerning authorial presence in literary texts.6
Sternberg’s approach considers the full protean dimensions of human
“minding” (Freeman 2009). The term intention used in reference to creative
writers should not be understood simply as the communication of meaning
“intended” by the author but rather in its meaning of intensity, in the signaling
of emotional and sensory experiences, which, if successful, evoke affective
responses in the reader. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, under the
entry for intent: “Intent and intense are etymologically doublets, intentus and
intensus being two forms of the [Latin participle]; but in [Latin] intensus was
(like the simple tensus) more restricted to the physical sense ‘stretched,
strained’, hence ‘intense, violent’, while intentus was extended to the notion
of ‘mentally or nervously on the stretch, intent, eager, attentive’. In the
modern [languages] this differentiation has been made more complete. So
with intention, intension.”7
In literary studies I understand intention not as what the author means to
communicate (“I intend to go to class tonight”) but rather in the sense of
intensity of attention or intent observation, as in John Locke’s (1947 [1690]:
105 – 6) sense: “ When the mind with great earnestness, and of choice, fixes its
view on any idea, considers it on all sides, and will not be called off by the
6. I distinguish, as I trust the following discussion will make clear, between the author’s rep-
resentation of a particular stance or point of view, which can take many forms, such as adopting
the perspective of a character or a narrator, and authorial presence, which may reflect the
author’s own beliefs, opinions, and attitudes.
7. The Compact Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., s.v. “intent.”

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

206 Poetics Today 36:3

ordinary solicitation of other ideas, it is that we call intention or study.” This


meaning of intention is especially true of poets.8
Literary critics distinguish among narrators, implied authors, and actual
authors as presented in prose fiction, and much work on author intentional-
ity has been done in narratology (Dennett 1987; Gibbs 1999; Graesser, Ber-
tus, and Magliano 1995; Irwin 2002; Kindt and Müller 2006, among many
others). But this is not equally true of studies in poetry (with some notable
exceptions, including Freeman 2011, 2014; Landa 1989; Yacobi 1981). Liter-
ary critics tend to conflate poetic persona with poet when a poem’s speaker
is not clearly dramatized or ironized and do not always draw a distinction
between poet as constructed by the reader as opposed to the historical, real-
life person, even though they may pay lip service to Dickinson’s “supposed
person.”
One early study that addressed problems of authorial presence from a
perspective somewhat different from that of intention was Richard M.
Ohmann’s groundbreaking Shaw: The Style and the Man (1962). There he
explores stylistic features of Shaw’s nondramatic prose writings, comparing
them with similar features in other selected writers.9 By identifying certain
patterns of grammatical usage — such as similarities created through summa-
tive cataloging, which implies a relation of equivalence among its members —
Ohmann (ibid.: 153) identifies George Bernard Shaw’s style and thought as
“an affirmation of human mind and order, as against the destructive forces of
mechanism and change.” Ohmann (ibid.: xii – xiii) states his position on
authorial presence as follows:
The very many decisions that add up to style are decisions about what to say, as
well as how to say it. They reflect the writer’s organization of experience, his sense

8. And not just poets either but artists in general. For example, in a presentation to members of
the Emily Dickinson Reading Circle of her score of four poems by Dickinson commissioned by
the National Choral Directors’ Association of America, the composer Alice Parker explained
that the work would be performed by school choirs in seven areas of the country. She noted that
her intentions for the piece would not necessarily be realized in the performances; much would
depend on how well the choral directors interpreted her intentions through the tones, rhythms,
and silences of the score. Intention for Parker refers not to interpretive meaning but to expressive
experience (Emily Dickinson Reading Circle, Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts,
Heath, MA, September 13, 2013).
9. The other writers are G. K. Chesterton, Oscar Wilde, Sidney Webb, Beatrice Webb, Ber-
trand Russell, and W. B. Yeats. In an appendix Ohmann provides twenty statistical tables of
common features he found in samples of twenty-six hundred words from all six writers. He
reports that Shaw’s usage consistently exceeds that of the control group: “I sought passages that
were roughly comparable in subject matter to those by Shaw, giving emphasis to social com-
mentary, philosophy, and the like” (Ohmann 1962: 170). Even though Ohmann (ibid.) con-
cedes problems associated with his sampling, he nevertheless claims that “the set of tables as a
whole gives reasonable proof that my critical reading of Shaw has been sound.”

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 207

of life, so that the most general of his attitudes and ideas find expression just as
characteristically in his style as in his matter, though less overtly. Style, in this view,
far from being intellectually peripheral ornament, is what I have called “epistemic
choice,” and the study of style can lead to insight into the writer’s most confirmed
epistemic stances.

For Ohmann (ibid.: 22 – 23), authors’ attitudes and values, their so-called
epistemology, determine their choice of style: “Stylistic preferences reflect
cognitive preference. . . . Shaw’s style offers strong evidence of a cognitive
system whose crux is similarity and neat, lawful categories. And indeed his
stylistic search for order has some recognizable parallels in the most central
of his explicit beliefs. His attitudes toward knowledge and discovery, to name
the most central, rest on a profound assumption of order.” From Ohmann’s
perspective, the recognition of authorial presence occurs not merely through
authorial intention, whether or not intention influences meaning, but
through an author’s stylistic preferences.10 Ohmann’s focus on style as a
way of revealing how Shaw’s mind thinks thus introduces a way of charac-
terizing authorial character not through communicative intention as com-
monly understood but through expressive “intent” that reveals sensory-
emotional authorial motivation. Although Ohmann’s study is restricted to
Shaw’s nonfictional works, in which authorial presence is paramount, it
suggests that stylistic preferences may indeed lead to an understanding
of authorial presence in literary works as well. By interrelating stylistic choice
and cognitive preference, thereby metaphorically mapping between the
domains of concrete language expressions and abstract thought processes,
Ohmann’s study anticipated the development of cognitive linguistics in the
latter half of the twentieth century that led to a so-called revolution in the way
metaphor is perceived. The development of cognitive metaphor theory thus
opened another way of discerning authorial presence in literature (Freeman
1995).
But what does subsequent interdisciplinary research in cognitive approach-
es to literature contribute to Ohmann’s study of style as a means of iden-
tifying an author’s “epistemic stances”? To what extent do cognitive-oriented
researchers adopt one or more of the various theories and methodologies of
literary criticism concerning authorial presence? Do they shed any light on
whether the cognitive processes activated by author and reader are the same
or different? And if different, then different how? How might approaches
based on the formulations of recent cognitive science in the workings of the
10. James’s (2012) comment on Larkin, that one can totally suppress one’s own “beliefs and
attitudes” in one’s writings, seemingly contradicts Ohmann’s (1962) hypothesis that “the style is
the man.”

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

208 Poetics Today 36:3

brain/mind advance our understanding of the mimetic/aesthetic relation in


literary discourse? I hope to show that, taken together, recent cognitive
approaches offer some insights into these questions and the various ways
authors and readers embrace Sternberg’s Proteus Principle.
Sternberg’s Proteus Principle reflects a major shift in the way philosophers
and scientists in the twentieth century began to think about how the mind
works, building on associationist movements in Mental Philosophy that were
initiated by empirical and commonsense philosophies of the nineteenth cen-
tury (Locke 1947 [1690]; Reid 2000) and by post-Freudian scientific inquiries
into the workings of the human brain (Gardner 1985). Thereby they chal-
lenged the Cartesian belief in the mind/body split and the separation of
rational thought from sensory-emotional experiences. This shift in focus
among philosophers and scientists led to a corresponding shift in the way
literary scholars began to think about authorial presence in literary interpre-
tation. As a result, some recent cognitive approaches focus not, or not only,
on what an author might have meant but on the cognitive processes at work
that led to the text in question: to illuminate the way the mind thinks or the
brain works in both writer and reader either through close examination of
underlying structures and themes in the text itself or through empirical
studies of reader response (Burke 2011; Freeman 2002a; Miall 2006).11
To say that “the mind thinks or the brain works” is to create the impression
that all brains and minds think alike. Although certain cognitive activities are
common to all human brains, neuroscientists studying brain development in
children have shown that individual brains develop differently depending on
which synaptic pathways are regularly activated by individual experiences of
sensations, emotions, and mental activity in interaction with the environment
(Damasio 1999; Luria 1973; Schore 1994; Solms and Turnbull 2002). Such
research suggests the possibility of creating methodologies to explore the
varying patterns and choices within a literary text that might reveal cognitive
strategies that are realized and differentiated according to an individual
writer’s cognitive processes, even though access to the writer’s mind is filtered
11. Adapting cognitive science methodologies to literary study is still very much in the early
stages of development, and it is not altogether clear what they add, if anything, to the long
tradition of literary criticism. Without denying the possibilities of determining through empiri-
cal research how, in the words of Raymond W. Gibbs Jr. (1999: 15), “people actually experi-
ence meaning, including the possibility that people immediately, and unconsciously, seek out
authorial intentions when they read, listen, or observe human artifacts,” I am constrained to
note that such an approach tends to devalue the science of the arts as practiced by experts who
explore artistic nature and functions. It would surely occur to no one (apart perhaps from
climate change deniers, creationists, or Tea Party aficionados) to assert that the observations
and responses of nonscientists to scientific knowledge are as empirically valid as those evidenced
by experts.

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 209

or reconstructed through the reader’s own cognitive procedures and prefer-


ences (Freeman 1995; Holland 1988).
Investigations into authorial cognitive practices may thus enable the read-
er to distinguish authorial representation of the thoughts of fictional personae
from the thoughts of the historical author. In other words, instead of under-
standing authorial presence as the “external” representation of a historical
author, cognitive approaches attempt to access the “internal” motivations
and intentions that form and guide a writer’s “minding” and thus capture the
defining features of authorial as opposed to fictional or narrated character.
Although the studies under consideration in this essay do not directly focus
on the question of authorial presence per se, they explore various elements in
an author’s oeuvre that may lead to such authorial reconstruction. Each
study approaches literature from a distinct theoretical perspective: tracing
a writer’s thought processes through a postmodern prism ( Jed Deppman);
neuropsychological methodologies that construct an author’s “identity”
(Norman N. Holland); theories of embodied cognition that govern a writer’s
use of individual words within a historical context (Mary Thomas Crane);
and cognitive metaphor theory that may reveal an author’s conceptual
universe (Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese).
In recent reconstructions of the historical author, the difference between a
literary critical approach and a cognitive science one emerges from a com-
parison of the studies of two poets, one by Deppman (2008) on Dickinson and
the other by Holland (1988) on Frost. Both Deppman and Holland recognize
that the way we perceive authorial presence is inevitably influenced by
the reader’s own experiences and perceptions. The questions they pose,
however, are different, because they approach the author’s reconstruction
from two very different theoretical perspectives. Deppman is interested
in why Dickinson’s poetry resonates so strongly with contemporary read-
ers influenced by postmodern theories, such as deconstruction and post-
structuralism. Holland, on the other hand, is interested in how cognitive
theories in the neurosciences and psychology might illuminate the relation
between a reader’s and an author’s “identity.”
Relying on the premise that “certain strains in postmodern thought can
help make visible central aspects of [Dickinson’s] poetry,” Deppman (2008: 8)
presents close readings of her poems through the prism of a postmodern
sensibility to show that one can indeed discern the presence of the historical
Dickinson through the recognition of her thought processes. Deppman’s
approach seeks “to explore the thinking of which the poetry is the necessary
by-product” (10) by trying “to reach the movements of thought that originally
produced” the poet’s metaphors (38). The strategies he adopts in establishing
the authorial presence of a mind thinking draw on biographical knowledge

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

210 Poetics Today 36:3

of the poet, contemporary philosophical influences on Dickinson regarding


the nature of mind/brain, her preferred readings, and the comments she
made in letters that reveal her “self-awareness about thinking, and [its] later
emergence as a central force in her poetics” (53).
In his discussion of Dickinson’s philosophical thinking, Deppman explores
what the poet may have thought about the workings of the brain/mind based
on her readings of contemporary philosophy (75 – 108). Before Sigmund
Freud, nineteenth-century students of brain/mind functioning had no
theoretical means by which to describe the cognitive unconscious, though
scientists and philosophers were well aware of seemingly uncontrollable brain
processes.12 Deppman describes the ways the authors of Dickinson’s text-
books in Mental Philosophy instruct students to improve their powers of
attention and abstraction and to develop “a well-regulated mind” through
mental introspection (89 – 91). Through close analysis of thought associations
and image metaphors in Dickinson’s “brain/mind” poems, Deppman links
the poet’s ideas to the mental and associationist Lockean-Scottish philos-
ophies of her time and the challenge to them presented by Kantian and
post-Kantian transcendentalism (88 – 108). In this way, Deppman analyzes
Dickinson’s poems from the perspective of how she responded to these con-
temporary theories.
Although it is true that historical data and contextual information may
illuminate a mind thinking within its contemporary milieu, they do not by
themselves constitute an investigation into the actual processes of authorial
cognition. Deppman focuses his examination of authorial cognition on the
way Dickinson’s poetry resonates with a modern reader: “Could Dickinson’s
lyrics be among those that can help us recognize, appropriate, and redescribe
the conditions of our contingency?” (24). By drawing upon postmodern theo-
ries, such as those of Gianni Vattimo (1997) and Richard Rorty (1989), that
“weaken” the “strong” metaphysics of “absolutes, moral imperatives, or
Cartesian rationality” (Deppman 23), Deppman identifies many “weak
hermeneutical features” (24) in Dickinson’s writings that indicate to him
contingent rather than absolute thinking on her part. In this way, he portrays
Dickinson’s authorial presence as a postmodern thinker.
12. Deppman’s (2008: 75 – 108) chapter “Dickinson and Philosophy” provides an extensive and
excellent review of the “convulsive and intellectual experience of nineteenth-century New
England,” which included the theories of Scottish common sense (Reid 2000; Stewart 1822;
Brown 1848), British empiricism (Locke 1947 [1690]; Hume 2000), German idealism (Kant
1989; Schiller 1845), and American transcendentalism (Emerson 1983). Awakened interest in
these theories resulted in the development of courses in mental and moral philosophy that were
crucial components of Dickinson’s studies at both Amherst Academy and Mount Holyoke
Female Seminary.

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 211

By focusing on how Dickinson’s thought processes resonate with contem-


porary readers, however, Deppman tends to assume rather than examine
authorial intention. That is, while he argues persuasively that many elements
of Dickinson’s hermeneutics in her poetry reflect the “weak” metaphysics of
postmodern theories, he does not show how he attributes these elements to
Dickinson’s own thought processes. Instead, Deppman simply asserts the
existence of Dickinson’s intentions, as the following examples indicate:
“The simple fact that Dickinson committed her creative and cognitive energy
to a lyric form in statu nascendi suggests that she intended to, and guarantees that she
did, preserve the kind of contingencies on which so much postmodern thought
has seized” (28; my emphasis). Elsewhere Deppman says Dickinson “self-
consciously maintained a strong hierarchized distinction between poetry and
prose” (9); she “used lyric poetry to converse with her culture and herself ”
(209n10); he asks, “ Why did she later decide that lyric poetry was the best
language game in which to pursue these most difficult projects of thought?”
(57); he claims that her poem “Of death I try to think like this” (Franklin 1998:
1389 – 90, F1588; Johnson 1955: 1072 – 73, J1558)13 “is an intensely private medi-
tation, not intended for publication” (Deppman 2008: 204; my emphasis). These
assertions of Dickinson’s intentions reach beyond simply identifying postmo-
dern elements in her poetry, so that it is questionable whether, in the end,
Deppman has succeeded in persuasively establishing Dickinson’s actual
“movements of thought” in creating her poems. His discussion, I suggest, is
externally focused on the authorial interpretation of ideas rather than on the
authorial experience of them in the poetic self and the cognitive process.
Missing from Deppman’s study are theoretical methodologies that would
guide considerations of an author’s style, of metalinguistic features that may
reveal the sensory-emotional motivations underlying authorial identity, of
the polysemous nature of word choice, or of the metaphors that structure a
writer’s conceptual universe (Freeman 1995). Features such as these, as I hope
to show in the ensuing discussion, mark a more insightful cognitive scientific
approach to authorial reconstruction.
Whereas Deppman’s discussions of Dickinson’s ideas of the brain are
externally focused, Holland explores how the poet’s brain/mind itself may
be thinking and feeling from an internal perspective: not what the brain
might know about itself but how the brain itself is working.14 He focuses on
what contemporary research in neuropsychoanalysis (Winson 1985; Reiser
1984; Harris 1986) can tell us about the brain that may illuminate literary
13. Dickinson’s untitled poems are identified by number. J indicates the Johnson 1955 edition,
F the Franklin 1998 edition.
14. It is beyond the scope of this essay to go into current controversies on the relationships and
the distinctions between brain and mind, but see Weed 2011 for an overview.

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

212 Poetics Today 36:3

creative processes in both writer and reader. Using Frost as his case study,
Holland thus develops a complex feedback theory to explain how readers
interact with authorial attitudes and beliefs, given the fact that each individ-
ual brain develops differently.
According to neuroscientific feedback theory, our brains do not passively
respond to the stimuli of our environment. Rather, we bring to our experi-
ences a “set” of expectations that contribute to the way we respond to situ-
ations we experience and that therefore “govern” our behavior. These
responses depend upon a personal “identity” that governs a hierarchy of
feedback operations. Holland (1988: 72 – 77) introduces his feedback theory
by describing the way we would negotiate our physiological, emotional, and
rational responses in driving on a dangerous mountain road in Crete. He
identifies four points that are important for his application of this generalized
feedback theory of human activity to literary reading: (1) the feedback
responses we make are usually automatic in determining sensory input, in
comparing perception and desired outcome, and in adopting a standard of
accomplishment; (2) in feedback operations our behavior controls our per-
ceptions and not vice versa;15 (3) feedback operation is guided by our
emotions; and (4) this generalized feedback loop is common to all human
behavior (77 – 80). These four elements of feedback theory explain, according
to Holland, how individual readings may differ yet be constrained by the text,
how our own emotions guide our individual responses, and finally, how, in
spite of these individual differences, we all share the common activity of
testing hypotheses in moving toward an understanding of the text.
In his chapter “Thoughts about Brains” Holland starts with the neurologi-
cal fact that the brain “grows” and “ungrows” in early childhood (1 – 15). He
explains how each person’s brain, in addition to sharing similarities with all
other brains, develops individually as a result of external experiential and
internal emotional interactions with its environment. These differences that
develop amount to an individual’s personality or style: what Holland prefers
to call “identity,” which governs an author’s “unique expression of self ”
(138). When we read the literary work of an author like Frost, Holland claims,
15. Holland’s use of the term behavior here may be misleading. He writes, “ We usually think that
perception controls behavior, and in a limited sense it does, but if you think in terms of a total
feedback loop it is really the other way around” (Holland 1988: 78). What Holland is referring
to, I think, is defined elsewhere as “transactional theory” after terminology developed by John
Dewey and Arthur Bentley (1949: 121 – 39). For example, the optical experiments of Adelbert
Ames Jr. (1955) and Hadley Cantril (1960) showed that viewers who see a trapezoidal or
irregularly shaped room as rectangular have to adjust their perceptions as they attempt to
find their orientations within the room. As Louise M. Rosenblatt (1978: 18) explains, these
experiments “demonstrate how much perception depends on the selection and organization of
cues according to past experiences and expectations.”

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 213

we create hypotheses from our own identities concerning the author’s iden-
tity as represented in the text. In consequence, no one’s reading of an author’s
work is quite the same as anyone else’s, as Holland concludes from the
empirical evidence of forty-six different responses (including his own and
Frost’s) to Edward Arlington Robinson’s poem “The Mill” (51 – 68).16
If we all respond differently, Holland asks, how then is it possible to share
similar views in arriving at “right and wrong interpretations”? (71) The
answer, he claims, lies in the operation of the hierarchy of multiple feedback
loops that neuroscientists have discovered to be the way the brain works (see
Bloom 1994): “ Within this picture of an identity governing feedbacks, we
can distinguish different levels in the process of reading literature . . . : one’s
personal identity; canons chosen from the culture’s repertoire because they
suit one’s identity; codes learned willy-nilly from the culture regardless of
identity; physical and physiological limits imposed by one’s body and the real
world . . . regardless of identity” (Holland 1988: 110).
Holland distinguishes between codes, “the rules governing letters of the
alphabet, numbers, grammar, recognizing a given word as that word, in
general, rules that are absolutely fixed for all the people in a given culture”
(101), and canons, which “express politics or values or beliefs, a person’s
‘philosophy’ in the loose sense, a mental ‘set’” or “the intellectual climate
of an era” (104). He further distinguishes background canons, which “reflect
heritage, education, and life experiences,” from viewpoint canons, which
“reflect opinions and beliefs” and are thus easier to change. These canons
arise, Holland argues, from “important aspects of personality,” such as “one’s
physiological sense of oneself,” and constitute a kind of “internalized cultural
system” looping “between mind and physiology” (104). This distinction
between codes and canons accounts for Holland’s theory of sameness and
difference in reader response: the fact that readers respond in similar ways
to the linguistic codes of a text but have different feelings and senses of what
the text means.
The fact that we can all come up with different readings of the same text
indicates that we apply our own individual background and viewpoint
canons to our reading. However, in contrast to postmodern theories that
reject the idea of authorial presence (see note 4), these differences do not
mean that we cannot garner some knowledge of authorial identity as pre-
sented in the text. Holland’s theory involves a complex series of feedback
loops that include the way authors create literary works from their own
16. Notably, when authors read and evaluate their own work, they also interpret their own
identities as represented in the texts. What this means, Holland (1988: 149) notes, is that
“ultimate self-knowledge is as impossible as ultimate knowledge of another person.”

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

214 Poetics Today 36:3

identities and the additional feedback loops that occur as readers adopt
the same processes from their own identities in developing psychological
hypotheses about the author. Readers create these hypotheses, Holland
argues, from two main sources: knowledge of the author’s life history and
certain thematic patterns repeated in words and phrases throughout the
author’s work. From these two sources readers construct a psychological
profile of the author’s identity.
Holland defines “identity” in the text as a “sameness” that occurs “in a self
in time and in different activities” that form a unified sense of consciousness
(37). For Holland, identity is deeply integrated with emotions, since they
“stem from one of the most ancient parts of the brain: the limbic system,
and they affect all our ideas, even the most abstract and intellectual” (80). He
discovers in Frost’s thematic patterns words and phrases that indicate an
emotional commitment to balance and control.17 In his readings of the
poems “Once by the Pacific” and “Mending Wall,” Holland shows Frost’s
tendency toward establishing control by pairings that balance opposites. This
thematic pattern can be discerned throughout Frost’s writings, as the poet
“sets up the world as paired opposites: matter and spirit, humor and sorrow,
little thing and larger thing, part and whole, the goddess and the hem of her
dress” (35).
This strategy for reading the presence of authorial identity in Frost’s poetry
through the thematic patterns of balance and control is supplemented by
Holland’s consideration of the poet’s life. Frost’s relation to his parents, his
playfulness, or his attempts to deal with his tendency to anger, for example,
indicate the presence of “background” and “viewpoint” canons in his writ-
ings. In challenging the postmodern claim that literary texts are cut loose
from authorial agency, Holland notes:
We can combine brain science, cognitive psychology, and psychoanalytic theory
into one model: a personal identity governing a hierarchy of feedbacks that use
shared codes, canons, and physical realities to make experiences, literature among
them. Then we can use such a picture of the human being to address writers and
readers in both their individuality and the qualities they share with some or all of
the rest of us. When we do, it seems to me, we have to re-examine some of the
assumptions literary critics cling to most tenaciously. The idea that texts mean
apart from some emotional human being making them mean, the idea of the “free
play of language,” the idea that codes or other symbolic orders can be isolated
from the human being using them — these we need to rethink in the light of what
we know about human psychology and the human brain (179).

17. Another way of looking at the notions of balance and control is to see them as orientation
and causative schemata, following Mark Johnson’s (1987) theory of schemata underlying con-
ceptual metaphors (see also Freeman 2002b).

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 215

Recognizing the role of personal identity, Holland argues, enables us to


“create a picture of the human being” in identifying not only the presence
of an author’s individuality in a literary text but also that of the reader in
commenting on a text.
Holland’s approach to the “brain” of his title draws upon neuroscientific
knowledge of the brain’s workings to develop his notion of personal identity
as it constrains and guides both author and reader. Crane’s (2001) approach
is different. Rather than focusing, as Holland does, on the relationship
between the readers’ and the authors’ brain processes, she focuses on the
way lexical usage reveals the human brain as embodied. Crane argues that
focusing on the brain rather than the mind preserves “the complexity offered
by contemporary theory” by suggesting “new and more sophisticated ways to
conceive of authorship” in literary texts (3, 4). The problems involved in
arriving at a neurophysiological theory of how the brain produces and com-
prehends literary meaning are reflected in the following passage:
[ The description of these problems] is primarily intended to raise awareness
among the readers of the high degree of simplification (and therefore speculation)
in current cognitive theories on knowledge representation, organization and
association in memory, with no intention to undermine its usefulness (since this
is literally the only thing we have to work and do experiments with, at least in the
current state of neuroscience). In regard to the conceptual framework of cognitive
psychology it is important therefore to remember that basic concepts such as
sensation, representation, organization, association, connection, activation, per-
ception, attention, consciousness, unconscious processes, automatic processes,
preconscious processes, control, habituation, memory, concepts, categories, net-
works, diagrams, etc., are essentially macroscopic-phenomenal concepts that
attempt to describe experiential and behavioral phenomena observable and mea-
surable in your own subjectivity and their external manifestations in others. (Sci-
ence in Life 2013)

While she recognizes that the relation between the physical brain and mental
behavior is still little understood, Crane (2001: 17) suggests that “cognitivist
mental concepts seem to be ‘material’ in three ways; (1) they emerge from and
consist in the neural matter of the brain; (2) they are shaped by perceptions of
physical ‘reality’ and by the experience of living in the body; and (3) they use
metaphor to extend concepts derived from material experience to immaterial
abstractions.”
This materiality of the embodied mind enables Crane to develop meth-
odologies to show how the physiological brain thinks through the orthodoxies
and ideologies of contemporary culture and society. In exploring the ways
William Shakespeare’s use of words both resulted from the physiological
experience of his own body in space and responded to cultural, social, and

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

216 Poetics Today 36:3

political changes in his time, Crane suggests that these methodologies might
enable access to the actual brain processes experienced by the historical
person we know as Shakespeare.
Crane begins her study by attempting an accommodation with two critical
theories dominant in the late twentieth century: postmodern theories that
challenge the notion of authorial identity and a New Historicism that focuses
on contemporary cultural meanings. She compares her own approach with
Patricia Parker’s (1996) New Historicist study of Shakespeare’s word use in
relation to his culture and claims to provide a more theoretical account of an
individual human brain thinking than Parker does. This is because she focus-
es on language use that “reflects the clash of physiological and cultural con-
straints.” She accommodates her theory to the postmodern view that “some
common conceptions of human agency are problematized by the structures
of cognition as they are reflected in language” (Crane 2001: 32) by adopting
cognitive semantic theories that assume that one person’s word associations
can be differentiated from those manifested by others (see Taylor 1995).18
Her strategy throughout is to confirm, critique, or complicate the findings of
postmodern and literary studies of Shakespeare’s plays by identifying, in both
text and performance, unique characteristics of authorial presence. Focusing
on certain words as they occur in six plays, Crane (2001: 4) explores the
various ways they reflect “the patterns and connections of Shakespeare’s
mental lexicon” in responding to the changing social and cultural attitudes
of his time.
Authorial presence for Crane is thus constituted by the ways Shakespeare
manipulates his characters’ polysemous language use and the physical stag-
ing of his plays. Starting with the idea of the brain as material site, Crane’s
discussion of The Comedy of Errors focuses on two aspects of contemporary
culture: the use of related words for house, home, and mart and the contempo-
rary staging of domestic spaces in the play. Historically, the movement
toward a bourgeois lifestyle is evidenced by a shift in contemporary termi-
nological usage that “reflects a change from viewing a house as an economic
unit to viewing it as essentially a place for private domestic life apart from
work” (43). This shift from an external view of house, home, and mart to a more
interior sense of private containment, Crane argues, characterizes Shake-
speare’s deployment of verbal associations to depict an increasing interiority
of the spatial self: “ We can see Shakespeare working out how best to represent
18. Science in Life (2013) identifies some of these theories: “the theory of characteristics, the
theory of prototypes, the classical model of semantic networks, schematic representation the-
ory, adaptive control theory of semantic networks, theory of hierarchical semantic memory
networks, theory of concept spaces described by coordinates consisting of certain fundamental
characteristics, etc.” See also Lamb 1998.

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 217

characters who manifest complex interiority that was beginning to be valued


as a defining characteristic of the human self ” (59).
Crane’s concept of the self, constructed as a spatial entity in The Comedy of
Errors, is also reflected in the way Shakespeare’s two known stagings of the
play, one in a public theater and the other as a private performance, “seem to
reflect complex and contradictory staging practices” (55). Since the physical
theater was also seen as a “playhouse,” Crane places The Comedy of Errors “at a
transitional point in Shakespeare’s movement toward the practice of opening
up domestic scenes to public view” (60). From these two aspects of verbal and
physical representations of house, home, and mart, Crane argues that Shake-
speare possibly conceived his own spatial orientation in this play as “not just
as an individual with an inner self nurtured in a private home but as the
creator of fictional selves, constructed by language, living in fictional homes
that were, like the characters themselves, literally turned inside out for public
display” (65).
The question of authorial presence crops up in a somewhat different form
in As You Like It. Crane considers that the ironies of the play are deeply rooted
in Shakespeare’s “mixed and contradictory emotions” over his own family’s
experiences of the vagaries of upward mobility in terms of class status (92).
Citing C. S. Lewis’s (1967: 21) observation of the “moralization of status-
words,” Crane (2001: 72) explores the ways Shakespeare’s use of the terms
villain, churl, and clown in As You Like It change from social to ethical represen-
tations of character and behavior. As his company became upwardly mobile,
Shakespeare replaced William Kemp’s rustic and boorish characterization of
the clown in his earlier plays with Robert Armin’s more refined and educated
portrayal of a fool in the character of Touchstone in As You Like It. By refer-
ence to Antonio R. Damasio’s (1994) and Leslie Brothers’s (1997) theories of
underlying emotional and complex social feelings, Crane (2001: 93) senses the
presence in the play of Shakespeare’s feelings of regret at abandoning the
rustic festivity of the earlier plays for the more refined “urban and country-
house settings” of the later ones.
Crane’s discussions of the remaining plays continue her focus on the way
the polysemous use of lexical terms reveals Shakespeare’s cognitive processes
at work. In Twelfth Night Shakespeare associates the various meanings of the
terms suit and, to a lesser extent, gate/gait with identity and desire. Claiming
that “Hamlet is more directly concerned with early modern cognitive theory”
than the other plays discussed, Crane argues that the play “explores a num-
ber of cognitive processes” (116) involved with the word act that account for
the main questions of the play: “ What do human subjects have within? and
how is that inner self related to external actions in the world?” (124). One of
Crane’s main arguments about Shakespeare’s manipulation of polysemic

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

218 Poetics Today 36:3

semantic networks throughout the plays is that the use of the word act in
Hamlet “resembles Hamlet’s imagined pliable matter reflecting the form and
pressure of culture, as well as the cognitive systems within Shakespeare’s
brain” (154). This emphasis on both culture and cognition in Shakespeare’s
cognitive processes is continued in Crane’s discussion of the word pregnant in
Measure for Measure and in her final chapter on The Tempest, which is a summary
conclusion to themes of sound and space running throughout her discussions
of the six plays:
Prospero’s — and here I also want to say Shakespeare’s — idiosyncratic linking of
pinch, pitch, pine, and pen, in expressing an imagined relation to the landscape of the
island, reflects subterranean cognitive structuring principles. The words delineate
for us a way of thinking about space that is itself structured by sound and by spatial
concepts derived from experiences of containment and invasion. The weird col-
location of these words suggests that however we try to turn our concepts of space
into “places,” mental categories with firm boundaries and clear internal logic, a
preconceptual spatial sense works to complicate and undermine our rationality.
The Tempest, then, shows us that the relationship between places and systems of
knowledge is complex and reciprocal and that although human discursive para-
digms (such as colonialism) are indeed powerful, they are necessarily and imper-
fectly composed of the very environmental and cognitive structures that they
attempt to harness and control (209).

Crane assigns conscious intentionality in her use of such phrases as “Shake-


speare would have had in mind/uses/makes/explores/focuses on/is inter-
ested in” (35), though she locates such intentionality in the brain of the
playwright that “constitutes the material site where biology engages culture
to produce the mind and its manifestation, the text; these Shakespearean
texts reveal traces of a particularly fertile collaboration between the two.” She
singles out for reading only one to four words in each play, out of many other
words she could have chosen, and significantly places them in their historical
contexts. From her discussions of Shakespeare’s use of such terms, we do
indeed catch a glimpse of an authorial presence responding to the cultural
changes and social developments of his time. However, despite the continued
references to Shakespeare’s biological brain, for Crane the argument for
“authorial agency” appears to be simply that it exists in the brain of the
playwright, whoever he might be.
Holland’s conclusions about authorial identity are supported by reference
to Frost’s own attitudes and predilections as provided by the poet’s commen-
taries and essays on the poetic process. Such information is of course un-
available to Crane in her study of Shakespeare or to Deppman in his study of
Dickinson. Like Holland’s study of Frost, Wójcik-Leese’s (2010) identification

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 219

of authorial presence in Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry is aided by Bishop’s exten-


sive comments on her own poetry in her letters, journals, and diaries and
on the process of poetic composition in general in her university lectures.
Wójcik-Leese also explores the development of the poet’s thought processes
in the extant drafts, manuscripts, and typescripts for her published poems, a
practice in literary studies of what has come to be called “genetic criticism”
(Deppman, Ferrer, and Groden 2004). Finally, she employs cognitive linguis-
tic theories of conceptual metaphor (Eubanks 1999; Fauconnier and Turner
2002; Johnson 1987; Lakoff and Johnson 1980) to show how Bishop’s own life
experiences are reflected in poetic expression.
In Metaphors We Live By (1980), which revolutionized the way we think
about metaphor, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson challenged the tradition-
ally held ideas that conventional metaphors, like “the foot of the mountain,”
are “dead metaphors” and that metaphor is a deviant form of linguistic
expression primarily used for literary ornament. Their focus on the concep-
tual structures that underlie linguistic expressions creates a link between text
and mind that suggests authorial presence not as something that resides in the
text but rather as something that both constrains and enables a reader’s
construction of the text. As Johnson (1987: xii) puts it, linguistic metaphorical
expressions are examples of an underlying system of “a pervasive, irreduc-
ible, imaginative structure of human understanding that influences the na-
ture of meaning and constrains our rational inferences.” For example, Lakoff
and Johnson (1980: 44 – 45) claim that expressions such as “we are at a cross-
roads in our relationship,” “our marriage is foundering,” and “our partner-
ship has gotten off track” are not consistent in their images but are coherent in
that they all “ ‘fit together’ by being subcategories of a major category and
therefore sharing a major common entailment.” They are linguistic examples
of the conceptual metaphor LOVE IS A JOURNEY .19 That is, although cross-
roads, foundering, and being off track refer to different kinds of travel, whether by
road, sea, or rail, they are all subsumed under the more general category of
JOURNEY . Underlying the conceptual metaphors identified by Lakoff
and Johnson and subsequent researchers are basic orientation and image
schemata that derive from our bodily experiences, schemata such as PATH,
CYCLE, CONTAINER, AND BALANCE ( Johnson 1987).20 By revealing that more

19. Lakoff and Johnson (1980) introduced the typology of small capital letters to indicate
reference to conceptual metaphor structures as distinct from linguistic expressions of them.
This practice has been adopted by all researchers in cognitive metaphor research.
20. Johnson (1987) provides an extensive study of how schemata structure human meaning both
in general and metaphorically. In what he calls a “highly selective” list, he identifies twenty-
seven such schemata (ibid.: 126). These schemata may be understood to structure Ohmann’s
“epistemic stances.”

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

220 Poetics Today 36:3

general categories underlie specific linguistic expressions — as Ohmann


already showed in his discussions of the underlying sense of order and “lawful
categories” in Shaw — Lakoff and Johnson’s methodology suggests that met-
aphor theory might also be an indication of the specific categorizing practices
of an individual mind. If this is the case, then the term authorial presence can be
understood not as the physical person or as a “second self ” but as referring to
the metaphorical choices that individual authors make in structuring their
“conceptual universes” (Freeman 1995; see also Freeman 2002b). This is the
task Wójcik-Leese sets for herself in examining Bishop’s poetry.
Wójcik-Leese’s book Cognitive Poetic Readings in Elizabeth Bishop: Portrait of a
Mind Thinking is divided into two parts and an epilogue followed by three
appendixes that provide a Bishop chronology, examples of the MIND-AS-
BODY system, and conceptual metaphors that indicate A THINKER IS A
MOVER AND MANIPULATOR system. An extensive bibliography includes pri-
mary sources, Bishop criticism, cognitive linguistics, cognitive poetics, genet-
ic criticism, and a miscellaneous section. Wójcik-Leese’s choice of Bishop’s
poetry as a case study is particularly apt, since Bishop’s own professed aim in
her poetry is, in Morris W. Croll’s (1929) words that Bishop (1994: 12) quotes
approvingly, “to portray, not a thought, but a mind thinking.” Wójcik-Leese
develops her “portrait of a mind thinking” by analyzing the structuring
metaphors of Bishop’s poetics from the viewpoint of six focal points in cog-
nitive linguistics: categorization, image schemata, conceptual and image
metaphors, conceptual integration, metonymies, and narrative structure.
With respect to narrative structure, Wójcik-Leese prefers to follow Philip
Eubanks’s (1999) theory of licensing stories rather than several other cogni-
tive lines of inquiry, such as “frame-shifting” (Coulson 2001) or “conceptual
blending” (Fauconnier and Turner 2002). This is because Eubanks (1999:
426) defines licensing stories as “ideologically inflected narratives, short and
long, individual and cultural, that organize our sense of how the world
works and how the world should work.”
Recognizing the impossibility of conveying the poet’s “entire cognitive
biography” in her study, Wójcik-Leese (2010: 55) selects two cognitive do-
mains that are salient in Bishop’s poetry, VISION and TRAVEL , in creating the
conceptual mappings MENTAL LIFE IS AN EXPLORATION IN A SPACE and
UNDERSTANDING IS KEEN OBSERVATION OF DETAIL . Building on Bishop’s
recorded predilections in reading and writing poetry, she describes the poet’s
careful attention to etymology and choice of word and phrase, the impor-
tance Bishop attributes to concentrated looking at and exploration of the
natural world, and the poet’s commitment to metaphorically perceiving her
own mind’s activity as movement.

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 221

In part 1 Wójcik-Leese traces these predilections through the six cognitive


focal points, concluding with a close examination of three major themes or
licensing stories in Bishop’s poetics, looking, exploration, and seascape, as
they occur in the poems to be discussed. Part 2 consists of eight case studies, in
which Wójcik-Leese applies methodologies from the six focal points to ana-
lyze eight poems that reflect the dominant metaphor she sees as structuring
Bishop’s poetics: MENTAL LIFE/POETIC CREATIVITY IS AN EXPLORATION OF
A VISUAL FIELD (87). Wójcik-Leese chooses the eight poems by three criteria:
the number of existing multiple drafts; their representations of the three
themes of looking, exploration, and seascape, all linked through travel; and
the existence of thorough discussions by many literary critics (87 – 88).21
A useful outline of the methodological tools used in each analysis precedes
the case studies. In her epilogue Wójcik-Leese addresses the broader ques-
tions of how readers might accurately represent authorial presence by show-
ing the poet’s mind at work.
In her eight case studies Wójcik-Leese adopts several methodological strat-
egies. Each chapter is headed by an epigraph from Bishop’s own writings that
communicates the gist of Wójcik-Leese’s poetic analysis. By comparing the
language of earlier drafts of a poem, which Wójcik-Leese underlines, with the
italicized language of the final, published one, she shows how Bishop’s com-
positional choices reflect the movement of her poetic thinking during the
creative process. Movement is an important aspect of Bishop’s poems, as they
recount journeys and walks and sea voyages. Wójcik-Leese shows how all of
these become metaphors for the poet’s mind in motion. Frequent discursions
into patterned repetitions and etymologies track the way Bishop exploits and
manipulates the relationships among words and phrases that structure her
conceptual understanding. Biographical details and extensive descriptions of
places and events from Bishop’s prose writings anchor the poems in the
context of the poet’s experiences. In the footnotes to each poem’s discussion
Wójcik-Leese refers to literary critical analyses, so that the reader can see how
her cognitive analyses explain what literary critics have observed.
The eight poems chosen for the case studies have been carefully ordered
according to their chronological arrangement in Bishop’s (1983: 88) Complete
Poems, 1927 – 1979. This ordering enables Wójcik-Leese to trace the progres-
sive developments of Bishop’s mind thinking. In her first case study, “Books
of Travel under a Powerful Reading-Glass,” Wójcik-Leese (2010: 95) explains
why Bishop titled her poem “Over 2,000 Illustrations and a Complete Con-
21. In her works consulted Wójcik-Leese (2010: 88) lists eighty-six literary critics who have
written extensively on Bishop’s poetry, and she shows in footnotes to each case study how their
analyses reveal the same underlying cognitive mechanisms that are “explained as well as
systematized within the cognitive framework.”

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

222 Poetics Today 36:3

cordance” — characteristically the subtitles for weighty Victorian Bibles and


books of travel — in preference to earlier draft alternatives, thus establishing
“the poem’s governing metonymy: OVER 2,000 ILLUSTRATIONS AND A
COMPLETE CONCORDANCE FOR OLD BIBLES AND BOOKS OF TRAVEL IN
THE HOLY LAND ” (97). Wójcik-Leese’s detailed analysis of the poem’s meto-
nymic and metaphorical mappings shows Bishop’s major themes of mental
life and poetic creativity to be ones of vision and travel: “The poem’s opening
line Thus should have been our travels implies a long succession of journeys under-
taken prior to the moment of looking at their ultimate traces: engravings,
illustrations, postcards, photographs. The complex, interrelated events of
travelling, looking, seeing, experiencing, engraving, impressing upon the
mind and memory, comprehending are all here, accumulated in the final
subevent of reaching a destination, or rather being at it, via Illustrations”
(102 – 3).
Wójcik-Leese’s second case study, “Conceptual Correspondences be-
tween the Bight and the Desk,” takes up the ways Bishop defines her poetic
craft as “a mental response: not only to Baudelaire but also to Stevens, as well
as to herself at Key West and at this point in her poetic career” (131). In her
poem “The Bight” Bishop develops an analogy between the messiness of the
Key West harbor and her own desk. As the poem proceeds through visual
images of the bight, “Bishop carefully accumulates her evidence by creating
more conceptual connections between the activities of the bight and the
activities of poetic craft” (132). Using Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner’s
(2002) theory of conceptual blending, Wójcik-Leese (2010: 119) traces the
way Bishop engages here with both Wallace Stevens, who also saw the land-
scape of Florida as “embod[ying] the mind in its explorations,” and the
symbolism of Charles-Pierre Baudelaire’s sonnet “Correspondences.”
With her phrase “if one were Baudelaire” in “The Bight,” Bishop (1983: l.
7) sets up a counterfactual imaginary space that emphasizes the poet’s own
craft (since she is not Baudelaire). She then takes up this self-comparison with
Baudelaire in the lines “torn-open, unanswered letters. / The bight is littered
with old correspondences” (ibid.: ll. 31 – 32), as Wójcik-Leese (2010: 131)
notes: “The plural form of correspondences matches the title of Baudelaire’s
sonnet; the plural form of ‘letters’ connotes literary endeavours, of which
Baudelaire’s and Bishop’s poems are examples. The etymology of ‘corre-
spondence’ ‘implies that the word was formed to express mental response, the
answering of things to each other’ (OED; emphasis added).”
Wójcik-Leese (2010: 134) summarizes the point of Bishop’s self-compari-
son with Baudelaire as follows: “Clearing away old, symbolist correspon-
dences the poet makes room for new ones that are her own.” These “new
ones” signal the existence of authorial presence in Bishop’s poetry as Wójcik-

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 223

Leese develops her analysis through the six focal points of Bishop’s “mind
thinking” in the remaining six case studies. The section “Elizabeth Bishop’s
Idea of ‘Knowledge’ ” studies the way the poet achieves conceptual knowl-
edge through the five senses in her poem “At the Fishhouses.” “Pointing Out
Santos” focuses on space as a construct of Bishop’s perceiving mind in “Arriv-
al at Santos.” “Mapping Travel and Its Images” studies Bishop as traveler-
conceptualizer in “Questions of Travel.” “Understanding as Sandpiper’s
Seeing” analyzes Bishop’s acknowledged self-identification with the bird as
a looker and mover in “The Sandpiper.” “The Simple Path of a Life’s Jour-
ney and Its Story” identifies our experience of movement through space in
“The Moose.” Finally, “Patterning the Walk of the Mind” traces Bishop’s
authorial presence in the enaction of the mind thinking in her poem “The
End of March.”
“The End of March,” where the poet describes a walk she took with friends
along a beach in early spring, incorporates the three licensing stories of
looking, exploration, and seascape that organized the previously discussed
poems. Wójcik-Leese places “The End of March” in the genre of the “walk
poem” (Gilbert 1991: 4). She shows how a cognitive analysis provides a
systematic explanation of the genre and identifies Bishop’s distinctive instan-
tiation of it in the poem. As the reader has by now come to expect, Wójcik-
Leese (2010: 246) characterizes the poem in terms of her overall thesis of
Bishop’s poetics by relating the poet’s thinking “to the bodily experience of
movement through space”:
Within the poet’s conceptual universe, circumscribed by the metaphor MENTAL
LIFE/POETIC CREATIVITY IS AN EXPLORATION IN LANDSCAPE/OF A VISUAL
FIELD , walking along and across the boundary fosters alertness to the mental
landscape — it encourages the mind’s forward drive. The end of the march
becomes once again subverted: the destination is not reached. It should not be
reached. The march must continue, because the conceptual periphery constantly
intrigues with its shifts. This mental motion — originated in the mover’s interaction
with the environment and the poet’s interaction with the literary tradition —
embodies the mind thinking. It portrays the incessant process rather than its
destination: a completed thought. (262)

In other words, Bishop’s poems describe her own aesthetic activity as a


poet’s mind in motion. Bishop is paramount among poets in her authorial
presence, a fact that has inspired much critical analysis based on autobiogra-
phical and biographical evidence of the poet’s life and travels. What dis-
tinguishes Wójcik-Leese’s readings is her ability to go behind the biography
into the processes of Bishop’s mind at work and to understand ostensibly
biographical details in the poems as metaphors for this mind work. Her

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

224 Poetics Today 36:3

approach suggests that the methodologies she uses — her six focal points —
can also contribute to determining authorial presence in other poets’ works.
In her epilogue, “Portrait of a Mind Reading,” Wójcik-Leese turns to the
question raised earlier in this essay, especially by Holland: How is it possible
for readers to access a writer’s cognitive processes and intentions? Holland’s
study focuses on the feedback mechanisms occurring among writer, text, and
reader to show how such access might be possible. Interestingly, in his chapter
“A Digression on Metaphors” Holland (1988: 112 – 34) contrasts his feedback
theory with conceptual metaphor theory, arguing that his theory “fits better
with what we think we know about” the brain and the world, the psychology
of reading, and “does better” in describing how readers respond differently to
literary texts (133). But Wójcik-Leese shows convincingly that the conceptual
metaphors of cognitive theory provide us with a means for exploring in and
through the language of a text the processes of a particular poet thinking.
The strength of Wójcik-Leese’s study lies in showing, as she discusses the
various cognitive strategies at work in Bishop’s poetry, how her cognitive
methodology also explains the analyses of other literary critics. Wójcik-
Leese’s detailed explications of the eight poems provide an instructive meth-
od for reading and understanding a poet’s conceptual structure. As regards
scope, her study does not include the role of the emotions in a poet’s thinking,
nor does it take into consideration the role prosodic features play in cognitive
processing. Nevertheless, her study shows persuasively how a cognitive
approach that employs multiple methodologies can contribute to character-
izing authorial presence in poetry.
The studies I have discussed in this essay thus diverge from postmodern,
deconstructive approaches in assuming authorial presence in literature and
in focusing on functional communication between author and reader rather
than on interpretation and meaning. All four studies are not so much con-
cerned with the debates on authorial representation and intention as they are
with how literary texts might reveal an author’s cognitive processes at work in
their production. They analyze these processes with different methodologies.
Two of the four — Deppman’s and Crane’s — are situated in relation to the
historical context and the postmodern paradigm, revealing well how literary
expertise and cognitive criticism can complement each other (Richardson
and Spolsky 2004: 25). Deppman’s study, as its title indicates, concerns the
way readers of a Dickinson poem align their literary backgrounds and experi-
ences with those of the author. Crane’s study is similar in focus but more
cognitively oriented in adopting associationist network theory to show Shake-
speare responding to the changing cultural attitudes of his time. Interested in
discovering how linguistic features may indicate authorial cognition at work,
Crane entirely bypasses the question of “real” authorship in the debates on

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 225

“who wrote Shakespeare.”22 Crane’s dependence on linguistic features


emphasizes verbal signs as indications of cognitive processes presumed to
be shared by both writer and reader. From a neuropsychological perspective,
Holland’s study is the most theoretical of the four in that it proposes a model
to account for the various loops and counterloops readers engage in to come
closer to Frost’s authorial intention. His study suggests that authors and
readers do in fact share the same basic cognitive structures, which differ
only in application, as a result of different experiential backgrounds and
attitudinal viewpoints. Finally, Wójcik-Leese’s study uses conceptual meta-
phor theories to construct metaphorical schemata that portray Bishop’s
transformation of biographical experience into the mind thinking.23
Consideration of these four approaches reveals some of the varied possible
ways cognitive research can contribute to identifying authorial presence in
literature. Neurological inquiries into how human brains develop differen-
tially through exposure to multiple environmental influences complement
associationist semantic theories of how humans variously represent and
organize knowledge. These inquiries raise the probability that a combination
of cognitive approaches is needed to identify and explain the multiple
relations between form and function that mark Sternberg’s Proteus Principle.
So how far have such cognitively oriented approaches advanced our
understanding of authorial presence in poetry? During the twentieth century,
critics debated the presence of the author in terms that ranged from narrative
theory’s implied authorship to the elimination of the author altogether
toward the end of the century by the deconstructionists. Meanwhile, literary
critics who were influenced by movements, such as feminism, psychoanalytic
approaches, or so-called confessional poetry, continued to speak as if the
writer were in fact present in the literary text. With the rise of the cognitive
sciences and their ancillary disciplines engaged with psychology, linguistics,
and the arts, a new strategy has emerged, one that retains a sense of authors as
living beings with emotions and sensations and perceptions and attitudes that
are reflected in the very fabric of the language in which they formulate their
artistic impressions of living in the worlds of nature and human affairs.
22. I find this omission curious. (On the claim that others, most notably Edward de Vere, Earl of
Oxford, are more likely candidates for such authorial identity, see www.oxford-shakespeare
.com.) But this is asking the author to do something that lies outside her focus. Her study does,
however, suggest that a comparison of authors’ word choices in context, such as Ohmann’s,
could contribute to such questions.
23. It is noticeable that whereas Crane and Holland refer to the brain in their titles, Deppman
and Wójcik-Leese refer to the mind and thought. Although the question of mind/brain
relations as such lies beyond the scopes of all four studies, Holland’s comes closest to it in his
attempt to connect the neural pathways of the brain to the thought processes they enable and
constrain.

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

226 Poetics Today 36:3

The difference between earlier formulations of the presence in a literary


text of an idealized author and a partial return to Ohmann’s idea of an actual
authorial presence lies, I suggest, in the knowledge we are acquiring from
developments in the cognitive sciences: among others, neurological investi-
gations of brain function, psychological advances in understanding how we as
humans respond to the world as a result of our emotional and sensuous
experiences, sociological and anthropological discoveries about the way we
act and respond as communities, and the linguistic capacities that enable us to
imagine and create worlds both reflective of and beyond our life experiences.
Missing from the accounts reviewed here is the important question of how
prosodic and stylistic features may also indicate authorial identity. This is
where literary critical tradition has much to offer, with its sophisticated
knowledge not only of cultural history and biography but also of genre and
literary form. Considerations of genre (romantic, metaphysical, baroque,
gothic, realistic, and so on) and distinctive treatments of form (sonnet, ode,
syllabic verse, patterned poetry, to name just a few) may identify an individual
poet through style. Genetic criticism, in its tracing of an author’s thinking
processes through manuscript drafts, also has a role to play. Cognitive poetic
approaches that link affective features of prosody and style to characteristic
practices of a particular poet hold out the promise of richer contributions to
the study of authorial presence in poetry. As shown by the explorations into
minds thinking, whether that of Dickinson, Shakespeare, Frost, or Bishop as
discussed in this essay, interdisciplinary cognitive approaches that take into
account literary critical traditions can do much to further our research into
the ways we as humans feel, conceptualize, and express our experienced
world and the world as represented to us by others.

References
Abbott, H. Porter
2011 “Reading Intended Meaning Where None Is Intended: A Cognitivist Reappraisal of
the Implied Author,” Poetics Today 32 (3): 461 – 87.
Ames, Adelbert, Jr.
1955 An Interpretative Manual for the Demonstrations in the Psychology Research Center, Princeton
University: The Nature of Our Perceptions, Prehensions, and Behavior (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press).
Barthes, Roland
1977 [1968] “The Death of the Author,” in Image, Music, Text, translated by Stephen Heath,
142 – 48 (New York: Macmillan).
Bishop, Elizabeth
1983 The Complete Poems, 1927 – 1979 (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
1994 One Art: The Selected Letters, edited by Robert Giroux (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux).

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 227

Bloom, Floyd E., ed.


1994 Neuroscience: From the Molecular to the Cognitive (Amsterdam: Elsevier).
Booth, Wayne C.
1961 The Rhetoric of Fiction (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).
Brothers, Leslie
1997 Friday’s Footprint: How Society Shapes the Human Mind (New York: Oxford University
Press).
Brown, Thomas
1848 Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind, 2 vols. (Hallowell, UK: Masters, Smith).
Burke, Michael
2011 Literary Reading, Cognition, and Emotion: An Exploration of the Oceanic Mind (London:
Routledge).
Burke, Seán, ed.
1995 Authorship: From Plato to the Postmodern; Reader (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press).
Cantril, Hadley, ed.
1960 The Morning Notes of Adelbert Ames, Jr. (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press).
Claassen, Eefje
2012 Author Representations in Literary Reading (Amsterdam: Benjamins).
Coulson, Seana
2001 Semantic Leaps: Frame-Shifting and Conceptual Blending in Meaning Construction (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press).
Crane, Mary Thomas
2001 Shakespeare’s Brain: Reading with Cognitive Theory (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press).
Croll, Morris W.
1929 “The Baroque Style in Prose,” in Studies in English Philology in Honor of Frederick Klaeber,
edited by Kemp Malone and Martin B. Ruud, 427 – 56 (Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press).
Damasio, Antonio R.
1994 Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain (New York: Avon).
1999 The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness (New York:
Harcourt Brace).
Dennett, Daniel
1987 The Intentional Stance (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).
Deppman, Jed
2008 Trying to Think with Emily Dickinson (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press).
Deppman, Jed, Daniel Ferrer, and Michael Groden, eds.
2004 Genetic Criticism: Texts and Avant-Textes (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press).
Derrida, Jacques
1976 Of Grammatology, translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press).
Dewey, John, and Arthur F. Bentley
1949 Knowing and the Known (Boston: Beacon).
Dowden, Edward
1872 “George Eliot’s ‘Second Self,’ ” Contemporary Review 20: 403 – 22.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
1983 Essays and Lectures (New York: Library of America).
Eubanks, Philip
1999 “The Story of Conceptual Metaphor: What Motivates Metaphoric Mappings?” Poetics
Today 20 (3): 419 – 42.

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

228 Poetics Today 36:3

Farley, Malcolm
2010 “‘No Memory of Having Starred Atones for Later Disregard’: The Case for the Poetry
of Robert Frost,” WordRustler, August 14, wordrustler.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/
the-case-for-the-poetry-of-robert-frost/#_edn9.
Fauconnier, Gilles, and Mark Turner
2002 The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities (New York: Basic
Books).
Foucault, Michel
1977 “What Is an Author?,” in Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews
by Michel Foucault, edited by Donald F. Bouchard, 113 – 19 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University
Press).
Franklin, R. W., ed.
1998 The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition, 3 vols. (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of
Harvard University Press).
Freeman, Margaret H.
1995 “Metaphor Making Meaning: Dickinson’s Conceptual Universe,” Journal of Pragmatics
24 (6): 643 – 66.
2002a “Cognitive Mapping in Literary Analysis,” Style 36 (3): 466 – 83.
2002b “Momentary Stays, Exploding Forces: A Cognitive Linguistic Approach to the Poetics
of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost,” Journal of English Linguistics 30 (1): 73 – 90.
2009 “Minding: Feeling, Form, and Meaning in the Creation of Poetic Iconicity,” in Cognitive
Poetics: Goals, Gains, and Gaps, edited by Geert Brône and Jeroen Vandaele, 169 – 96 (Berlin:
Mouton de Gruyter).
2011 “The Aesthetics of Human Experience: Minding, Metaphor, and Icon in Poetic
Expression,” Poetics Today 32 (4): 717 – 52.
2014 “Complexities of Cognition in Poetic Art: Matthew Arnold’s ‘The Last Word,’ ”
Cognitive Semiotics 7 (1): 83 – 102, www.degruyter.com/view/j/cogsem.2014.7.issue-1/
issue-files/cogsem.2014.7.issue-1.xml.
Gardner, Howard
1985 The Mind’s New Science: A History of the Cognitive Revolution (New York: Basic Books).
Gibbs, Raymond W., Jr.
1999 Intentions in the Experience of Meaning (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Gilbert, Roger
1991 Walks in the World: Representation and Experience in Modern American Poetry (Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press).
Graesser, Arthur C., Eugenie L. Bertus, and Joseph P. Magliano
1995 “Inference Generation during the Comprehension of Narrative Texts,” in Sources of
Coherence in Reading, edited by Robert F. Lorch Jr. and Edward J. O’Brien, 295 – 320
(Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum).
Harris, Jay E.
1986 Clinical Neuroscience: From Neuroanatomy to Psychodynamics (New York: Human Sciences).
Heaney, Seamus
1996 “Above the Brim,” in Homage to Robert Frost, edited by Joseph Brodsky, Seamus Heaney,
and Derek Walcott, 61 – 92 (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
Holland, Norman N.
1988 The Brain of Robert Frost: A Cognitive Approach to Literature (New York: Routledge).
Hume, David
2000 A Treatise of Human Nature, edited by David Fate Norton and Mary J. Norton (New York:
Oxford University Press).
Irwin, William
2002 The Death and Resurrection of the Author? (Westport, CT: Greenwood).

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 229

James, Clive
2012 “Larkin Treads the Boards,” CliveJames.com, www.clivejames.com/books/meaning/
larkin.
Johnson, Mark
1987 The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason (Chicago: Uni-
versity of Chicago Press).
Johnson, Thomas H., ed.
1955 The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Including Variant Readings Critically Compared with All Known
Manuscripts, 3 vols. (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press).
1965 The Letters of Emily Dickinson, 3 vols. (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard
University Press).
Kant, Immanuel
1989 Critique of Judgement, translated by James Creed Meredith (Oxford: Clarendon).
Kindt, Tom, and Hans-Harald Müller
2006 The Implied Author: Concept and Controversy (Berlin: De Gruyter).
Lacan, Jacques
1977 Ecrits: A Selection. Translated by Alan Sheridan (New York: Norton).
Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson
1980 Metaphors We Live By (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).
Lamb, Sydney M.
1998 Pathways of the Brain: The Neurocognitive Basis of Language (Amsterdam: Benjamins).
Landa, José Ángel Garciá
1989 “Another Game in View’: The Representation of the Poet in The Faerie Queene,” Revista
Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses 2: 65 – 81.
1991 “Authorial Intention in Literary Hermeneutics: On Two American Theories,”
Miscelánea 12: 61 – 92, ssrn.com/abstract¼1737206.
Lewis, C. S.
1967 Studies in Words, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Locke, John
1947 [1690] An Essay concerning Human Understanding, edited by Raymond Wilburn (London:
Dent).
Luria, Aleksandr Romanovich
1973 The Working Brain: An Introduction to Neuropsychology. Translated by Basil Haigh (New York:
Basic Books).
Miall, David S.
2006 Literary Reading: Empirical and Theoretical Studies (New York: Lang).
Ohmann, Richard M.
1962 Shaw: The Style and the Man (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press).
Oxford Authorship Site
www.oxford-shakespeare.com.
Parker, Patricia
1996 Shakespeare from the Margins: Language, Culture, Context (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press).
Reid, Thomas
2000 An Inquiry into the Human Mind: On the Principles of Common Sense, edited by Derek R.
Brookes (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press).
Reiser, Morton F.
1984 Mind, Brain, Body: Toward a Convergence of Psychoanalysis and Neurobiology (New York: Basic
Books).
Richardson, Alan, and Ellen Spolsky, eds.
2004 The Work of Fiction: Cognition, Culture, and Complexity (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate).
Rorty, Richard
1989 Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

230 Poetics Today 36:3

Rosenblatt, Louise M.
1978 The Reader, the Text, the Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work (Carbondale:
Southern Illinois University Press).
Schiller, Friedrich
1845 The Aesthetic Letters, Essays, and the Philosophical Letters of Schiller. Translated by John Weiss
(Boston: Little and Brown).
Schore, Allan N.
1994 Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self: The Neurobiology of Emotional Development (Hillsdale,
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum).
Science in Life
2013 “Theory of Semantic Networks: Outline of a Theory of Semantic Networks, Meanings,
Concept Formation, and Psychotherapeutic Applications,” scienceinlife.info/theory-of-
semantic-networks.
Solms, Mark, and Oliver Turnbull
2002 The Brain and the Inner World: An Introduction to the Neuroscience of Subjective Experience
(New York: Other).
Sternberg, Meir
2003 “Universals of Narrative and Their Cognitivist Fortunes (I),” Poetics Today 24 (2):
297 – 395.
2012 “Mimesis and Motivation: The Two Faces of Fictional Coherence,” Poetics Today
33 (3 – 4): 329 – 483.
Stewart, Dugald
1822 Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind (Albany, NY: Hosford).
Taylor, John R.
1995 Linguistic Categorization: Prototypes in Linguistic Theory, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon).
Thompson, Lawrance
1966 Robert Frost, vol. 1, The Early Years, 1874 – 1915 (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Win-
ston).
1970 Robert Frost, vol. 2, The Years of Triumph, 1915 – 1938 (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and
Winston).
Thompson, Lawrance, and R. H. Winnick
1976 Robert Frost, vol. 3, The Later Years, 1938 – 1963 (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston).
Vattimo, Gianni
1997 Beyond Interpretation: The Meaning of Hermeneutics for Philosophy. Translated by David Webb
(Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press).
Weed, Laura
2011 “Philosophy of Mind: An Overview,” Philosophy Now, no. 87: 6 – 9.
Wimsatt, William K., Jr.
1976 [1968] “Genesis: An Argument Resumed,” in Day of the Leopards, 11 – 39 (New Haven,
CT: Yale University Press). Originally published in The Disciplines of Criticism: Essays in
Literary Theory, Interpretation, and History, edited by Peter Demetz, Thomas Greene, and
Lowry Nelson Jr., 193 – 225 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press).
Wimsatt, William K., Jr. and Monroe C. Beardsley
1946 “The Intentional Fallacy,” Sewanee Review 54 (3): 468 – 88.
1954 “The Intentional Fallacy,” in The Verbal Icon: Studies in the Meaning of Poetry, 3 – 18
(Lexington: University of Kentucky Press).
Winson, Jonathan
1985 Brain and Psyche: The Biology of the Unconscious (Garden City, NY: Anchor/Doubleday).
Wójcik-Leese, Elżbieta
2010 Cognitive Poetic Readings in Elizabeth Bishop: Portrait of a Mind Thinking (Berlin: De Gruyter
Mouton).

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Freeman † Authorial Presence in Poetry 231

Yacobi, Tamar
1981 “Fictional Reliability as a Communicative Problem,” Poetics Today 2 (2): 113 – 26.
2000 “Interart Narrative: (Un)Reliability and Ekphrasis,” Poetics Today 21 (4): 711 – 49.
2001 “Package Deals in Fictional Narrative: The Case of the Narrator’s (Un)Reliability,”
Narrative 9 (2): 223 – 29.
2005 “Authorial Rhetoric, Narratorial (Un)Reliability, Divergent Readings: Tolstoy’s
Kreutzer Sonata,” in A Companion to Narrative Theory, edited by James Phelan and
Peter J. Rabinowitz, 108 – 23 (Malden, MA: Blackwell).

Published by Duke University Press


Poetics Today

Published by Duke University Press