chapter
18 Pages

Coda

Ted Hughes and the midcentury American academy
ByAmanda Golden

The preceding chapters addressed the ways that Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, and Anne Sexton contributed to midcentury constructions of modernist discourse. Each poet’s means of material engagement, in annotations and teaching materials, anchored their consideration of the previous generation. This secondary expository and almost completely analytical self-conscious state of mind, with a slight cast of deliberate virtuoso putting-over of effects, becomes strong enough to completely resist the unconscious invention-absorbed state in which good writing comes out. Hughes annotated his copies of some of the texts he taught. He added marginalia and markings as he made his way through the readings, developing the impressions that he would communicate to his students. In his brevity as an annotator, Hughes rebelled against academic conventions while using a text for teaching that is the result of them.