Purple Heart, Purple Prose | National Humanities Center

Humanities Moments

Purple Heart, Purple Prose

July 17, 2020

Griswold, Wendy (Fellow, 2017–18; Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University)

Poetry; American Literature; Emotions; Middle Class; Reading;

Griswold recalls how a childhood encounter with a sentimental, “middlebrow” poem about a dog and a veteran (which makes her cry to this day) tapped into wells of empathy. She explains how such responses to aesthetic experiences, so often downplayed in academic inquiry, deserve our sustained attention—and even respect.


Fiction and Poetry / Poetry / American Literature / Emotions / Middle Class / Reading /

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