Control Documents and/or Texts

The following documents and/or texts, drawn from Dickinson's late papers, but excluded from the archive proper, have been included to help clarify the criteria used to determine whether or not a given text belongs in the present configuration of "late fragments." The collation of the significant printed sources of the fragments reveals a lack of critical consensus regarding what constitutes a fragment in Dickinson's oeuvre, as well as a lack of consensus about how best to represent these textual and bibliographical escapes. The significant printed sources of Dickinson's fragments are: Millicent Todd Bingham and Mabel Loomis Todd, eds., Bolts of Melody (New York: Harper, 1945); Millicent Todd Bingham, Emily Dickinson: A Revelation (New York: Harper, 1954); Millicent Todd Bingham, ed., "Prose Fragments of Emily Dickinson." New England Quarterly 28 (September 1955): 291–318; Thomas H. Johnson, ed., The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Including variant readings critically compared with all known manuscripts. 3 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap P of Harvard UP, 1955; Thomas H. Johnson and Theodora Ward, eds., The Letters of Emily Dickinson. 3 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap P of Harvard UP, 1958; and R. W. Franklin, ed., The Poems of Emily Dickinson. Variorum edition. 3 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap P of Harvard UP, 1998. The "Control Documents and/or Texts" gathered here, many of which appear in Bingham's or Johnson's collections of Dickinson's fragments, may also encourage speculation about alternative criteria that have been or can be used to define and represent "fragments." Most importantly, these documents and/or texts are included to foreground the difficulty, perhaps impossibility, of definitively demarcating the boundaries between Dickinson's late fragments and the mass of late, unbound, and bibliographically or generically ambiguous compositions found among her papers after her death.

The texts below fall into five categories: rough-copy messages or message-fragments to specific, though not necessarily identified addressees; fair-copy (complete and incomplete) messages to identified and unidentified addressees; fragments "created" as a result of the dissociation of documents; fragments composed before 1870; and transcripts of poems or passages composed by other writers. There is some slippage. Some of the texts listed below (see, for example, A 97a; A 226; A 738; A 739; A 747; A 790; A 860; A 881) may well belong in the body of the archive, just as a number of texts included in the body of the archive (see, for example, A 175; A 249; A 359; A 361, A 808; A 856; A 883) may belong in the file of "Control Texts." The completion of a hypermedia archive of Dickinson's complete writings—work on which is now underway—will result in the revision of the present configuration of texts and documents, while revealing, in still more startling and complicated ways, Dickinson's resistance to bibliographical determination. Selection of an entry from this index accesses the "Facsimile View" of the document. For further discussion of the criteria used to determine inclusion, see "The Interpretation of Radical Scatters."

Message Fragments, Rough-Copy (last decade)

  • A 440a [I feel like wasting]
  • A 743 [A group | of students]
  • A 751 [But why | did you distrust your]
  • A 754 [I sometimes have | almost feared]
  • A 755 [My little devices]
  • A 756 [My little devices]
  • A 757 [Tuesday is a deeply]
  • A 758 / A 758a [Thank you for]; [It is joy to be]
  • A 759 [This has been a beautiful Day - dear -]
  • A 767b [Dear friends | I cannot tint]
  • A 812 [Acquainted | with Grief -]
  • A 854 [Gilbert's I | wont - I wont]
  • A 857 [I never saw | Mrs Jackson]
  • A 859 [I send you natures]
  • A 860 [I send you | the last]

Message fragments, Fair-Copy (last decade)

  • A 97a [Nature, that]
  • A 104a / A 227a [Thank you | for the]
  • A 132a [Sunday - | Second of March,]
  • A 269a [Dear friend - | I bring]
  • A 283a [With love | for Supper -]
  • A 738 [. . . remained what the]
  • A 739 [Dont you know you]
  • A 747 [You spoke of]
  • A 790 [A Message | from the]
  • A 824 [Dear Marcia - | I waited]
  • A 830 [Dear friend - | Accept this]
  • A 849 [Dear friend - | "May" I or]
  • A 881 [Were | Departure]

Fragments; Dissociated Documents (last decade)

Early Fragments (c. 1850–c. 1860)

  • A 886 [With the sincere spite of | a Woman.]

Quotations (last decade)

  • A 769 ["Tumultuous | privacy | of Storm -"]