“A Stitch in Time: H.D.’s Craft Modernism as Transhistoric Repair” by Amy E. Elkins

My publication about H.D.’s needleworks in The Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914-1945.

Abstract: H.D. (Hilda Doolittle, 1886-1961) maintained a longstanding interest in the material and artistic history of needlework, a practice that helped her conceptualize, theorize, and overcome traumatic wartime experiences. This essay presents, for the first time, an archive of H.D.’s needlework and demonstrates its relationship to her literary craft. With a new appreciation for the ways in which H.D. turned to needlework as a medium of psychological repair, I show how H.D.’s poetry and prose illustrate processes of survival and psychological coping through metaphors of needlework. Tracking alongside Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Cathy Caruth, I argue that to work through trauma requires innovative techniques, which for H.D. are embedded in craft practices and their ability to access figures of transhistoric significance.