Monthly Archives: October 2020

Maureen Montgomery on The Buccaneers and English Country Houses, November 5.

From Maureen Montgomery:
I’m doing a webinar for the Newport Preservation Society on 5 November at 5.30 pm ET on The Buccaneers and English country houses.  It is for a general audience but perhaps some of our colleagues in the EW Society might like to join the webinar.
Here is the link to the NPS website with the relevant information about the talk and how to register.  It is free.  I did check with the NPS that I could advertise it to Whartonites.
https://www.newportmansions.org/learn/adult-program

Ngā Mihi

Maureen

Dr. Laura Rattray Book Launch, October 28

If you’re free on Wed 28 Oct (5pm UK time), I hope you’ll be able to join us in conversation “at” the Rothermere American Institute, Oxford. 

Details and registration below:https://www.rai.ox.ac.uk/event/book-launch-edith-wharton-and-genre

All best- Laura

Dr. Laura RattrayReader in American LiteratureSchool of Critical StudiesUniversity of Glasgow4 University GardensGlasgow G12 8QQ

Queries: Did Edith Wharton Read James Joyce?

An unpublished Edith Wharton story, “The Children’s Hour,” recently appeared in The Times Literary Supplement (#6129:18 Sep 2020). The writing employs her humane and bitingly humorous skills equally, and it’s a triumph of a story. A sense of the story’s being incomplete struck me at first, but a rereading reveals it to be all there, and veering toward the postmodern. Another aspect is a vivid Joycean tone in dealing with the Catholic subject matter, and one could argue that the story is derivative of (or inspired by) The Dubliners.

This led me to wonder about whether Wharton, who did read Joyce, had written any diary entries or essays about him, and indeed if she knew Joyce or ever corresponded with him.

CFP: The Nonhuman in American Literary Naturalism

 

Call for proposals

 The Nonhuman in American Literary Naturalism

Editors: Kenneth K Brandt and Karin M Danielsson

At the end of the 19th century, American authors such as Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, and Jack London were influenced by new advances in science—notably the idea of evolution. Nature and the nonhuman were crucial for these writers,
whom scholars   most often group under the rubric of American literary naturalists. Traditional scholarship on American literary naturalism has closely attended to various environmental pressures in urban and wilderness settings, but scholars have paid much
less attention to the naturalists’ investigations into the nonhuman, such as animals, plants, landscapes, houses, or weather. To extend and deepen our understanding of this under-researched field, we propose a volume of essays that offers a wide variety of
innovative critical approaches to the nonhuman in American naturalist literature. We welcome studies based in ecocriticism, animal studies, new materialism, narrative theory, or ethics. We are receptive to essay proposals focused on the core naturalists from
around 1900 as well as more contemporary writers in the naturalist tradition. Proposals may focus on authors including Crane, Norris, London, Wharton, Garland, Dreiser, Chopin, Dunbar, Sinclair, Twain, Glasgow, Frederic, Cather, O’Neill, Steinbeck, Wright,
Hemingway, Petry, Dos Passos, Larsen, Farrell, Hammett, Cain and others. More recent writers may include Oates, Vonnegut, DeLillo, Morrison, McCarthy, Wilson, Pynchon, and others.

Possible topic areas might include but are not limited to:

  • Animal agency  
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Nonhuman sentience
  • Ecology
  • Ethology 
  • Evolution
  • Farming
  • Forests, trees, plants
  • Houses and other structures
  • Human–nonhuman intersubjectivity
  • Landscape and place
  • Physical or environmental transformations
  • Posthumanism 
  • Speciesism 
  • Technology’s intersections with the nonhuman
  • Weather and climate
  • Wild, feral, and domestic nonhumans

 

The Lexington Books Ecocritical Theory and Practice series editor has expressed a strong interest in the project and has requested a full proposal. It is the publisher’s wish that authors or at least one co-author holds a PhD.

We invite essay proposals of a maximum of 500 words on any topic relating to the nonhuman in American literary naturalism by the deadline of the
8 January 2021. Please include a title, a maximum of five key words, and a brief biography. We aim to reply to respondents by 25 February 2021, and full drafts of essays (5000–8000 words)
will be due 1 September 2021. Please send a 500-word maximum proposal and a brief biography to karin.molander.danielsson@mdh.se and
kbrandt@scad.edu by 8 January, 2021.

Queries: Did Undine Spragg know Shakespeare?

Hi, Wharton is wonderful! Having years ago read Ethan Frome, and more recently The Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth, I now find myself enthralled with The Custom of the Country, bringing me to my question. Undine’s early thoughts on Peter Van Degen lead to her conclusion that all the offerings of life “seem stale and unprofitable outside the magic ring of the Society Column.” Is it reasonable to assume Wharton knew her Shakespeare well enough to intentionally and selectively leave the other two adjectives, “weary” and “flat”, out of Hamlet’s soliloquy, or is her “stale and unprofitable” mere coincidence? (As there is no evidence that even The Hound of the Baskervilles was actually Undine’s, I have a hard time imagining The Bard on her reading list.) Many thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have.

Sincerely, Dr. Bruce Barlam