Edith Wharton A Collection Of Critical Essays

Edith Wharton A Collection Of Critical Essays-35
The implicit link between the pelican of the title and Mrs.

Whereas Peel concluded in 2005 that she was “apart from modernism,” later studies, including those by Wagner-Martin, Haytock, and Beer and Horner identify distinctly modernist features in Wharton’s narrative style.

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.

An active reader of this type is courted in Wharton’s 1899 story, “The Pelican.” The narrative concerns a widowed Mrs.

Amyot who lectures on various “cultured” subjects, from Shakespeare to Greek art, to support her young son, Lancelot.

Thus, whilst I refer to Wharton’s critical writing in the following discussion of four of her stories, this article will follow Lawrence’s advice to foremost ‘trust the tale’ rather than the artist (31). Indeed, James’s narrators often present a further viewpoint in addition to that of a focalizer’s experience or vision, endowing his impressionistic accounts with an element of nineteenth-century omniscient narrative traditions.

Whilst not completely reliable themselves, James’s narrators often signal the potential unreliability of a focalizer’s perspective and nudge the reader towards considering the wider view of the events narrated.

(As a consequence Wharton’s narratives are limited by their narrators and are often fragmentary and ambiguous, presenting further questions for the active reader in a manner not dissimilar to Chekhov’s “interrogative” style so admired by Mansfield, who once wrote to Woolf in 1919, “What the writer does is not so much to solve the question but to put the question” (qtd. Indeed, as early as 1899, this creative use of gaps and absence had already been noted by her critics, with “F. G.” writing in the Each tale is mainly told between the lines.

By a touch here and a touch there you are enabled to construct a prelude for yourself, and when you come to the last page you have no difficulty in carrying on the action to its remote possibilities, or to its inevitable subsequent proceedings. Wharton makes you wonder again at the truth of the old axiom that, after all, there is nothing so eloquent as silence.

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.

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Comments Edith Wharton A Collection Of Critical Essays

  • 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 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.…

  • 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.…

  • 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 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…

  • 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.…

  • 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.…

  • 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.…

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