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Laura Riding entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
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Laura Riding, an American who spent crucial years of her astonishingly productive life in England and Europe, was an important modernist poet, critic, and theorist, who regarded her poetry as a tool in the search for truth. One of the remarkable features in her career was her capacity to inspire and energise other writers to contribute to her large-scale collaborative projects: a kind of encyclopaedia, a periodical, an unusual dictionary. Generally oppositional, unconcerned about being out of step with most avant-garde opinion, she maintained her own viewpoint tenaciously as the only correct one, and claimed to have influenced and been borrowed from by many of the most distinguished names of her generation. She refused to let her work appear in all-women contexts. When she lost confidence in poetry as a vehicle for the truth (moving instead towards aspects of the study of language), she almost entirely gave up writing it, and allowed reprinting of her own earlier work only with prefatory material to explain her new and different position.
Milestones
16 January 1901 LR was born as Laura Reichenthal in New York City, the elder child of her father and his second wife: her given name was that of his first wife, who had died young of tuberculosis. Bibliographic Citation link.
October 1972 LR published The Telling, dedicated to her parents; she advised the Athlone Press in great detail about its overall design. Bibliographic Citation link.
2 September 1991 LR died in Sebastian, Florida, from a heart attack. Bibliographic Citation link.
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