[Msa-discuss] Embroidery in Modernist Works

Helen Sword h.sword at auckland.ac.nz
Wed Jun 27 02:28:07 EDT 2012

Images of spinning, weaving, and embroidery can be found in many of H.D.'s works, especially from the early 1940s, when she was coping with the stress of the London Blitz by working elaborate tapestries - or doing "typestry stitching," as she wrote to Viola Jordan in a fortuitous misspelling (letter of 28 April 1942, Beinecke Library).    See for example in Trilogy:

we are the keepers of the secret,
the carriers, the spinners

of the rare intangible thread
that binds all humanity

to ancient wisdom.

Hence the title of Susan Friedman's book Penelope's Web ("It is obviously Penelope's web that I am weaving" - Tribute to Freud 153).  For more on H.D.'s tapestries, see Perdita Schaffner's introduction to The Gift.

Best of luck with your project!

Helen Sword

From: msa-discuss-bounces at muse.jhu.edu<mailto:msa-discuss-bounces at muse.jhu.edu> [msa-discuss-bounces at muse.jhu.edu] on behalf of Jennifer Williams [jhwilliams at calvin.edu]
Sent: 26 June 2012 19:33
To: msa-discuss at chaos.press.jhu.edu<mailto:msa-discuss at chaos.press.jhu.edu>
Subject: [Msa-discuss] Embroidery in Modernist Works
Dear All,

I'm trying to work through an idea about embroidery and sewing in the works of modernist writers.  I honestly don't know if this is a broad question or not, but does anyone know of works that include references to or scenes of embroidery and sewing?

Thanks very much,


Jennifer Hardy Williams

Asst. Professor of English
Calvin College
1795 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
(616)526-8515 FAX: (616)526-8508


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