Queries and Replies: Membership

I recently purchased a student membership with the Edith Wharton Society. I have received my email confirmation that my payment was processed. My question at this time is: is my Edith Wharton Society membership now valid? Also, will I received the next issue of the Edith Wharton Review in the mail? When can I expect it?

Thank you in advance,

Heather Degeyter

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Where would you like this to appear? : Queries and Replies

Yes, you should be enrolled as a member now, but you can always check with the Membership Coordinator to be sure: http://edithwhartonsociety.wordpress.com/membership/

The Edith Wharton Review is published in fall and spring, so you should receive the next issue.

New Articles

Scanlan, Sean. “Going No Place? Foregrounding Nostalgia and Psychological Spaces in Wharton’s The House of Mirth.” Style 44.1-2 (2010): 207-229. Print (and online at: http://www.engl.niu.edu/ojs/index.php/style/article/view/113).

Butterworth-McDermott, Christine. “Lustful Fathers and False Princes: ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Donkeyskin’ Motifs in Edith Wharton’s Summer and Katherine Mansfield’s Short Stories. Katherine Mansfield Studies. 4.1 (Fall 2012): 63-78.

Scanlan, Sean. “Going No Place? Foregrounding Nostalgia and Psychological Spaces in Wharton’s The House of Mirth.” Style 44.1-2 (2010): 207-229. Print (and online at: http://www.style.niu.edu/ojs/index.php/style/article/view/113/63 .

Please list Edith Wharton at Home: Life at The Mount with your recent publications. It was written by the architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson with a foreword by Pauline Metcalf. John Arthur did the contemporary photography.
The book was published in September 2012 by Monacelli Press and is listed on their website.

CFP: ALA Symposium on God and the American Writer (Deadline 12.1.14)

Dear ALA Affiliated Societies:

Many of you have heard about this ALA-sponsored symposium through postings on other sites, but I wanted to make sure that all of the ALA affiliated groups new about the upcoming symposium on “God and the American Writer.”  The symposium will be held at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, on February 26-28, 2015.  The deadline for paper proposals is December 1st.  All proposals should be sent to Jeanne Reesman at jeanne.reesman@utsa.edu

Aside from great panels with great papers, the symposium will also feature two keynote addresses, one by Harold K. Bush on Mark Twain and one by Jonathan Cook on Herman Melville.  We’ll also have a poetry reading with the theme of women and spirituality featuring Bonnie Lyons, poet and critic, and Enedina Vasquez, poet, artist, and lay Episcopal minister.  In addition, we’ll have a screening of Terence Malik’s film The Tree of Life with an informance by Stacey Peebles.  There will be a mariachi reception and luncheons and a tour of local historic missions and the San Fernando Cathedral.

Full conference details, as well as registration forms and paper proposal forms, can be found at the ALA website and at http://godandamericanwriter.wordpress.com. Continue reading

Query about Edith Wharton Essay Prize and Undergraduate Prize

I’m inquiring regarding the Edith Wharton Essay Prize and the Edith Wharton Undergraduate Essay Prize. I see that the EWEP hasn’t been awarded since 2011. Is the prize being phased out, or is this merely a result of no submissions winning? If you are still accepting submissions for the EWEP, does the inauguration of the EWUEP signal that undergraduates may not apply for the EWEP at all, and must instead limit themselves to entries for the undergraduate prize? Or would you consider entries for the EWEP from undergraduates, provided they were of appropriate length and publication-ready?

Thank you very much for your time,

Alexander Kraft


The Edith Wharton Essay Prize page has been updated to reflect recent winners. Undergraduates wouldn’t be eligible because of this requirement: “Graduate students, independent scholars, and faculty members who have not held a tenure-track or full-time appointment for more than four years are eligible to submit their work.”

The Undergraduate Essay Prize began in 2014, and the requirements are here: http://edithwhartonsociety.wordpress.com/awards/edith-wharton-undergraduate-essay-prize/

Thank you for your interest in these prizes.

Calls for Papers: EWS Panels at American Literature Association (ALA) May 2015, Boston, MA. Deadline: 15 January 2015

Calls for Papers: EWS Panels at American Literature Association (ALA) May 2015, Boston, MA.  Deadline: 15 January 2015

Cultural Exchange in Edith Wharton’s Life and Work

An intensely international writer, Edith Wharton thought about cultural boundaries, exchanges, and explication throughout her life and work.  Her travel, her expatriate life-style, her multilingual abilities, her interest in anthropological and cultural explication all helped place cultural exchange at the center of her writing and life. This panel seeks papers that address any aspect of Wharton’s engagement with cultural exchange, be it cultural explication, translation, encounters, or actual exchanges.  It is also open to examinations of translations of Wharton, relations of Wharton to other writers in cross-cultural ways, and critical receptions of Wharton across cultural boundaries. Please send 250-500 page proposals and 1 page cvs to Hildegard Hoeller at hildegard.hoeller@gmail.com  by 15 January 2015.

Edith Wharton and the First World War

In her autobiography A Backward Glance Edith Wharton recalls “the dark bewildering days of August 1914” that she experienced as a resident of Paris at the outbreak of World War I. The war drove Wharton to take up relief work for refugees, travel to the front, and scold her native country for its belated participation in the war. Wharton responded in journalism, fiction, and poetry that familiarized Americans with the country they were protecting and depicted the human and cultural loss caused by the conflict. This panel seeks papers that consider any aspect of Wharton’s multiform response to World War I. Papers might address Wharton’s sympathetic depictions of French culture in non-fiction works like Fighting France: From Dunkerque to Belport, and French Ways and Their Meanings, or works of fiction such as The Marne, A Son at the Front, and The Mother’s Recompense. Also welcome are comparative papers on Wharton’s war related writings and better-known works on the war by Hemingway, Woolf, Dos Passos, Barbusse, and others, as well as the relation of Wharton’s war reportage to that of other women.  Please send 250-500 word proposals and short CVs to Paul Ohler at Paul.Ohler@kpu.ca by 15 January 2015.

Age of Innocence Opera

Below is an excerpt from the opera The Age of an Innocence, music and libretto by David Carpenter, performed in New York in November 2013. In this pivotal scene, Ellen consents to spend one night with Newland before she returns to Europe. Newland, convinced that once he has her, she’ll not be able to leave him, sings the following aria:

Reply: Edith Wharton on Henry James’s asking for directions

From A Backward Glance

Another year we had been motoring in the west country, and on the way
back were to spend a night at Malvern. As we approached (at the close of
a dark rainy afternoon) I saw James growing restless, and was not
surprised to hear him say: “My dear, I once spent a summer at Malvern,
and know it very well; and as it is rather difficult to find the way to
the hotel, it might be well if Edward were to change places with me, and
let me sit beside Cook.” My husband of course acceded (though with doubt
in his heart), and James having taken his place, we awaited the result.
Malvern, if I am not mistaken, is encircled by a sort of upper
boulevard, of the kind called in Italy a strada di circonvallazione, and
for an hour we circulated about above the outspread city, while James
vainly tried to remember which particular street led down most directly
to our hotel. At each corner (literally) he stopped the motor, and we
heard a muttering, first confident and then anguished. “This–this, my
dear Cook, yes…this certainly is the right corner. But no; stay! A
moment longer, please–in this light it’s so difficult…appearances are
so misleading…It may be…yes! I think it IS the next turn…’a little
farther lend thy guiding hand’…that is, drive on; but slowly, please,
my dear Cook; VERY slowly!” And at the next corner the same agitated
monologue would be repeated; till at length Cook, the mildest of men,
interrupted gently: “I guess any turn’ll get us down into the town, Mr.
James, and after that I can ask–” and late, hungry and exhausted we
arrived at length at our destination, James still convinced that the
next turn would have been the right one, if only we had been more

The most absurd of these episodes occurred on another rainy evening,
when James and I chanced to arrive at Windsor long after dark. We must
have been driven by a strange chauffeur–perhaps Cook was on a holiday;
at any rate, having fallen into the lazy habit of trusting to him to
know the way, I found myself at a loss to direct his substitute to the
King’s Road. While I was hesitating, and peering out into the darkness,
James spied an ancient doddering man who had stopped in the rain to gaze
at us. “wait a moment, my dear–I’ll ask him where we are”; and leaning
out he signalled to the spectator.

“My good man, if you’ll be good enough to come here, please; a little
nearer–so,” and as the old man came up: “My friend, to put it to you in
two words, this lady and I have just arrived here from SLOUGH; that is
to say, to be more strictly accurate, we have recently PASSED THROUGH
Slough on our way here, having actually motored to Windsor from Rye,
which was our point of departure; and the darkness having overtaken us,
we should be much obliged if you would tell us where we now are in
relation, say, to the High Street, which, as you of course know, leads
to the Castle, after leaving on the left hand the turn down to the
railway station.”

I was not surprised to have this extraordinary appeal met by silence,
and a dazed expression on the old wrinkled face at the window; nor to
have James go on: “In short” (his invariable prelude to a fresh series
of explanatory ramifications), “in short, my good man, what I want to
put to you in a word is this: supposing we have already (as I have
reason to think we have) driven past the turn down to the railway
station (which, in that case, by the way, would probably not have been
on our left hand, but on our right), where are we now in relation to…”

“Oh, please,” I interrupted, feeling myself utterly unable to sit
through another parenthesis, “do ask him where the King’s Road is.”

“Ah–? The King’s Road? Just so! Quite right! Can you, as a matter of
fact, my good man, tell us where, in relation to our present position,
the King’s Road exactly IS?”

“Ye’re in it,” said the aged face at the window.