Emily Dickinson appears tailor-made for the psychoanalytical method of biography and criticism. The childhood shaped by a dominating father, the later seclusion from society and habit of dressing in white, the penetrating self-observation and ambiguous sexuality revealed in the poems and letters—all these cry out for psychoanalytical explanation. Moreover, she had the intelligence, articulateness, and capacity for fantasy that make her, as the psychiatrist John Cody remarks, "the psychoanalysand par excellence."



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