Monthly Archives: December 2013

CFP: ALA 2014 Calls for Papers (Deadline: 1.15.2014)

The Edith Wharton Society will sponsor two panels at the American Literature Association in 2014.

1. Call for Papers, American Literature Association (ALA)
Washington, DC
May 22-25, 2014
Edith Wharton and the Natural World
The Edith Wharton Society invites papers addressing Edith Wharton’s relationship to the natural world.  Presentations might address Wharton’s engagements with nature, nature writers, landscapes, the environment, and so on.  Especially welcome will be papers focusing on Wharton’s work with dogs (e.g., Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, such fictional works as “Kerfol,” her own beloved papillons, etc).  Please send abstracts and a brief bio to Emily Orlando at eorlando@fairfield.edu by January 15, 2014.

2. 

Call for Papers, American Literature Association (ALA) Washington, D.C.
May 22-25, 2014
Wharton and Masculinities

The Edith Wharton Society invites paper proposals that consider Wharton’s interest in constructions of masculinity.  Papers might address normative and non-normative masculinities, historical approaches to men’s cultures and subcultures, male figures in relation to Wharton’s narrative technique, men’s imagined and real spaces (including, but not limited to, interiors, decors, architectural plans, and gardens), nationalized iterations of manhood, and social as well as homosocial relationships between men in Wharton’s work.  Send proposals and one-page CVs to Melanie Dawson at mvdaws@wm.edu by January 15, 2014.

Edith Wharton in the News: Bride and Conqueror (at WSJ on The Custom of the Country)

Frorm The Wall Street Journal

Bride and Conqueror

By 
LEONARD CASSUTO
Dec. 13, 2013 4:12 p.m. ET

The Gilded Age has memorialized many successful and pruriently colorful businessmen in fact and fiction, but one of the canniest and most ruthless of them is a woman. Edith Wharton’s “The Custom of the Country” turned 100 this year, and the adventures of its heroine, Undine Spragg, remain as brazen today as when she first advanced upon the American scene.

Ms. Wharton set nearly all of her novels in the drawing rooms and country estates of the New York rich. In her hands, high society became a decorous killing floor, and a marketplace as freewheeling as the industrial postbellum economy in the U.S. at large.

Christopher Serra

The market in Ms. Wharton’s books is the marriage market. Ms. Wharton plumbed the analogy between the social and business worlds deeply, rendering courtship and marriage as cold and calculated exchanges for profit. “The emotional center of gravity’s not the same” as in the old days, notes one of the characters in “Custom.” Once it was love, but now it’s business. Ms. Wharton’s novels of manners are not marriage plots so much as business narratives.

[read more at the link above]

Edith Wharton in the News: Robert Armitage’s Blog at the New York Public Library

Edith Wharton, A Writing Life: Marriage by Robert Armitage, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Gen. Research Division

 

Edith (Newbold Jones) Wharton, 1862, Digital ID 102809 , New York Public LibraryIn a writer’s life, nothing is ever wasted. Every wrinkle in the fabric of experience can be transformed into fictional material. Although there is nothing directly autobiographical in the novels and stories of American novelist Edith Wharton (born Edith Jones), they reflect very distinctly both the shape of her life and the movements of her thought. In my previous postabout her childhood, I left off with an unresolved question, one which would have been deeply troubling to Lucretia Jones, Edith’s mother:

What’s to be done with a young woman stricken with a misguided appetite for reading books and an even more unhealthy aspiration to write them?

The answer, of course, is to marry her off as soon as possible. [read the rest at this link.]