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This article is taken from PN Review 78, Volume 17 Number 4, March - April 1991.

Preface Elizabeth Friedmann

LAURA (RIDING) JACKSON is a writer whose work has spanned the 20th century. Born Laura Reichenthal in 1901, she was educated at Girls' High School, Brooklyn, and Cornell University. In 1924 she married Louis Gottschalk and, as Laura Riding Gottschalk, published poems in a number of American periodicals, including The Fugitive, founded by a group of writers at Vanderbilt University. In 1924 she was awarded the magazine's 'Nashville Prize' for her poetry, and soon afterward was invited to become a full member of the 'Fugitive' group. At the end of 1925 she went to England, remaining abroad until April 1939. In 1927 she legally adopted the surname Riding, Laura Riding being her authorial name until 1941, when she married Schuyler B. Jackson and began writing as Laura (Riding) Jackson.

During her years abroad, primarily in England and Majorca, she wrote in collaboration with Robert Graves A Survey of Modernist Poetry (1927) and A Pamphlet Against Anthologies (1928) and with Graves co-founded the Seizin Press and published the 'critical summary' Epilogue (1935-37). She also wrote, and published, books of poetry, criticism and fiction.

After returning to the United States, she 'renounced poetry and literary affiliations, seeing language itself as essential moral meeting-ground', and began, in collaboration with her husband, a book on language, Rational Meaning: A New Foundation for the Definition of Words (as yet unpublished), which she completed after his death in 1968. Since 1962, after two decades of public silence, Laura (Riding) Jackson has ...


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