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The Rhetoric of Self in Robert Bly and Adrienne Rich

Doubling and the Holotropic Urge

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Paul Wadden

This book pushes beyond modern/postmodern dichotomies to show how Robert Bly and Adrienne Rich, two of America’s most prominent poets, engage in a process that is both dialectic and holotropic as they continually create – through doubling – fuller and more fluid self-identity. Ultimately, their use of alter-selves to deepen their subjectivity and transform otherness expands their voice and vision, culminating late in their careers in a polyphony of self. Bridging literary scholarship and writing pedagogy, this book concludes by illustrating how the two poets’ writing practices offer invigorating models and departure points for writing students in contemporary literature and composition classrooms.