Edith Wharton A Collection Of Critical Essays

Edith Wharton A Collection Of Critical Essays-41
(Tuttleton Wharton’s interest in imperfect, incomplete vision is evident not only in her poetics but also the content of her stories. Manstey’s View” (1891), “The Lamp of Psyche” (1895), “A Glimpse” (1932) and “The Eyes” (1910) demonstrate the importance she gives to the onlooker.Many of her narratives rest upon a misreading of a situation or even object, including a misread picture in “The House of the Dead Hand” (1904), a misread book in “The Descent of Man” (1904) and a misread diagnosis in her 1930 story of the same name.Mais c’est surtout par le rôle qu’elle attribue au lecteur de ses nouvelles que Wharton s’apparente à ses contemporains modernistes : le lecteur doit être actif, capable d’identifier ses reprises des récits traditionnels, de comprendre l’ironie et de combler les vides laissés dans ces textes souvent fragmentaires.

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It is in recent critical appraisals of her short fiction in particular, a literary form closely associated with the “new” writing of the twentieth century, that scholars have found Wharton’s poetics “experimental” (Ware 17), “subversive” (Whitehead 54), and “modernist” (Campbell 5), noting her innovative manipulation of traditional forms.stories, by contrast, remain firmly positioned within a single, often narrow-minded narrating consciousness, and rather than offering some reassuringly reliable narrative yardstick against which to assess a focalizer’s point of view, are themselves a testament to the idiosyncrasies of perception.Indeed, as she states in “Telling a Short Story,” “exactly the same thing never happens to any two people” and “each witness of a given incident will report it differently” (Wharton states that once the narrator of a tale has been decided upon, the writer should stay firmly within this mind and register, and not include any event, language or judgement from outside this character’s vision.The title itself bears an indirect, symbolic relation to the story, which the reader is left to deduce alone, rather like the titles of her other three stories “The Lamp of Psyche” (1895), “After Holbein” (1928) and “Pomegranate Seed” (1931), the last prompting letters from readers who were not able to make the implicitly signalled link.2 The pelican is traditionally represented as a selfless creature, frequently depicted piercing her breast with her beak so that her offspring can eat her own flesh and blood when food is scarce.In medieval times artists often placed the bird with its nest on top of the cross; Thomas Aquinas (who is mentioned later in the story) uses the pelican in his hymn .3 In fact, the bird beats its bill against its chest to get macerated food out for its young, which, against its white feathers, creates the startling illusion it is harming itself.Such interest in perception and its relation to meaning align her writing with what has since been regarded as the “essentially modernist concern” of the nature of perception and the psychology of the perceiver (Stevenson 27).Furthermore her use of imperfect vision, the incomplete or absence signals a refusal to offer authorial judgement and her expectation that the reader will recognise inconsistencies and ironies and so, fill in the gaps of her often fragmentary narratives.This is confirmed in the final scene of the story, by which time her son is a grown man with his own children who angrily demands to know why she continues this pretence.By this point the question the reader asks is not whether she really needs to give lectures, but why she actively chooses to do so.The implicit link between the pelican of the title and Mrs.Amyot suggests that the “actual suffering” (79) she claims she must go through by speaking in public for the sake of the baby, is a fallacy rather like medieval notions of the bird’s self-sacrifice.

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Comments Edith Wharton A Collection Of Critical Essays

  • Make It Short Edith Wharton’s Modernist Practices in Her.
    Reply

    Critical dissonance over Edith Wharton’s modernist practices has intensified over the last decade, and although few view her nowadays as the “literary aristocrat” Parrington had firmly ensconced in the nineteenth century 153, Wharton’s relationship with modernism and modernist writing continues to be an increasingly fertile area of scholarship.…

  • Project MUSE - Wharton and Cather
    Reply

    Laura Rattray’s engaging collection Edith Wharton in Context Cambridge is a valuable resource for scholars, teachers, and general readers. Positioning Wharton in a time of tremendous social change, the contributed short essays, organized into seven sections, address biography, critical reception, publishing history, arts, design, historical.…

  • The House of Mirth
    Reply

    Dwight, Eleanor, Edith Wharton, An Extraordinary Life, Harry N. Abrams, 1994. This work is an overview of the life and times of Wharton. It includes personal correspondence and photographs. Bloom, Harold, ed. Edith Wharton, Chelsea House, 1986. Bloom offers a collection of critical essays on the works of Wharton.…

  • Edith Newbold Jones Wharton
    Reply

    Edith Wharton Edith Wharton 1861-1937, American author, chronicled the life of affluent Americans between the Civil War 1 and World War I 2. Edith Wharton was born Edith Newbold Jones in New York 3 City, probably on Jan. 24, 1861.…

  • Edith Wharton Bibliography -
    Reply

    Edith Wharton's Dialogue With Realism and Sentimental Fiction. University Press of Florida. 2000. 224pp. David Holbrook. Edith Wharton and the Unsatisfactory Man. St. Martin's Press. 1991. 208pp. Irving Howe editor. Edith Wharton A Collection of Critical Essays. Prentice-Hall. 1962. 181pp. Josephine Lurie Jessup.…

  • Another Sleeping Beauty Narcissism in The House of Mirth.
    Reply

    This is the text of Wharton's novel used here. All page numbers, indicated in parentheses after quotations from The House of Mirth, are to this edition. 4Wharton, The House of Mirth New York New American Library, 1964, Afterword, 343. 5Irving Howe, ed. Edith Wharton A Collection of Critical Essays Englewood Cliffs, N. J.…

  • Roman Fever Introduction & Overview -
    Reply

    Roman Fever" is among Edith Wharton's last writings and caps off her noteworthy career. "Roman Fever" was first published in Liberty magazine in 1934, and it was included in Wharton's final collection of short stories, The World Over, in 1936.…

  • Edith Wharton A Bibliography - journals.
    Reply

    A rapid perusal of the following critical bibliography reveals the paucity of work examining Edith Wharton’s art of the short story as a whole. Most of the articles listed below focus on one or two stories. Barbara White’s Edith Wharton A Study of the Short Fiction, published in 1991, is still the only book-length study devoted to the subject.…

  • Edith Wharton Biography - THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
    Reply

    Later, Edith attended the awarding of TR’s honorary degree from Williams College; he dined at the Wharton’s home on Long Island, Sagamore Hill, and he makes a fictional appearance in The Age of Innocence. During these years, Edith wrote her first novel, The Valley of Decision.…

  • Edith Wharton Society EWS Awards for 2018-2019
    Reply

    Edith Wharton Society EWS Awards for 2018-2019 Elsa Nettels Prize for a Beginning Scholar This award, formerly known as the “Edith Wharton Society Prize for a Beginning Scholar” and established in the fall of 2005, recognizes the best unpublished essay on Edith Wharton by a beginning scholar, advanced graduate students, independent scholars, and faculty members…

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