Edith Wharton Society Call for Papers
Name: Robin Siegerman
Where would you like this to appear? : New Books
Comment: I am an audiobook narrator and I have just completed a new recorded audiobook version of Wharton’s lesser known work, A Son at the Front, about being an American expatriate parent in Paris, of a son conscripted into the French army at the start of WWI.
The audiobook and e-book both contain an essay by Peter Buitenhuis, “Edith Wharton and the First World War” as an Afterword. His essay sheds interesting background light on Wharton’s prodigious war time charity work and provides context for her writing.
“What an incalculable sum of gifts and virtues went to make up the monster’s daily meal.” So observes American expatriate painter John Campton, whose only son is conscripted to military service in France at the beginning of WWI. In Edith Wharton’s saga, A Son at the Front, we share the character’s anguish as thousands of young men are sacrificed to the insatiable appetite of the war. The lessons are as relevant today as they were almost 100 years ago.
Available on Audible, Amazon, iTunes.
Westfield Historical Society Talk set on ‘The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe’
As part of the Westfield Historical Society’s First Wednesday Luncheon series, Dr. Carole Shaffer-Koros, will talk about the many theories surrounding the Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe on Oct. 2.
The event will begin with check-in at 11:45 a.m. at the Echo Lake Country Club, located at 515 Springfield Avenue, Westfield. Edgar Allan Poe is well known today for his Gothic horror stories as well as his poem “The Raven.”
From The New Yorker:
The first time I read Edith Wharton’s novel “The Custom of the Country,” which was published in 1913, I felt at once that I had always known its protagonist and also that I had never before met anyone like her. The values of Undine Spragg—who, in the course of the novel, makes a circuitous and sinister journey from Midwestern rube to ruby-drenched new-money empress—are repulsive, and her attempts to manipulate public attention are mesmerizing. For my money, no literary antiheroine can best Undine—a dazzling monster with rose-gold hair, creamy skin, and a gaping spiritual maw that could swallow New York City. People like her have been abundant in American culture for some time, but I never feel invested in their success; more often, I idly hope for their failure. With Undine, however—thanks to the alchemical mix of sympathy and disdain that animates Wharton’s language in the novel and allows her to match Undine’s savagery with plenty of her own—I find myself wanting her to get everything she desires.