New issue of Studies in American Naturalism: Review of Anne Boyd Rioux’s Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist and Linda Kornasky’s review of Bitter Tastes

The new issue of Studies in American Naturalism is available at  http://muse.jhu.edu/issue/36848.  In addition to fine articles, it includes Linda Kornasky’s fine review of Bitter Tastes: Literary Naturalism and Early Cinema in American Women’s Writing (thanks, Linda!) and my review of Anne Boyd Rioux’s Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist.  There’s also a great review by Sheila Liming of Meredith Goldsmith and Emily Orlando’s Edith Wharton and Cosmopolitanism (for which I wrote the Foreword).

I don’t think SAN would mind if I posted a few samples from a couple of them:

Kornasky on Bitter Tastes:

Donna Campbell’s substantial new study introduces a unique perspective on American women writers of literary naturalism. Campbell proposes that “placing women’s naturalism at the center rather than the periphery of the [naturalist] movement reveals an ‘unruly’ counterpart to the rules of classic naturalism” by Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, etc., which, she contends, “expresses an interest less in philosophical consistency in its treatment of determinism than in the complex, sometimes uneven workings of social forces that operate on female characters constrained with the extra complications of women’s biological and social functioning” (4). This alternative, re-orienting perspective suggests, nonetheless, that new attention should be paid not only to “unruly” naturalism written by women often overlooked in naturalism studies, but also to texts written by men usually not included there. Moreover, Campbell brings turn-of-the-century and early twentieth-century film into her study, paralleling naturalism and early film’s emphasis on visual “authenticity” (11).

My review of Rioux’s Constance Fenimore Woolson:

Anne Boyd Rioux opens her excellent new biography of Constance Fenimore Woolson with two indelible images that are the sum total of what most readers know about the author: in the first, “a woman jumps from the third-story window of her Venetian palazzo”; in the second, weeks later, a distraught Henry James sits in a boat in the middle of a Venetian lagoon, trying helplessly to submerge both the dresses and the record of their friendship, but the dresses “billow up like black balloons” (xiii). Unlike the dresses, Woolson’s critical reputation has been less than buoyant in the century since her death, although an edition of her complete letters (Complete [End Page 88] Letters of Constance Fenimore Woolson, 2012), numerous book-length critical studies and articles employing feminist approaches, and Rioux’s new collection of Woolson’s stories should do much to restore her reputation.

Rioux’s carefully chosen title, Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist, signals this revival and Woolson’s struggle for acceptance, for it echoes James’s Portrait of a Lady, the work of an author whose reputation has shaded if not entirely effaced Woolson’s own in literary history. “Lady,” too, is particularly apposite, for Rioux’s running theme is what the literary world might have made of Woolson had they treated her as simply a “novelist” without the diminishing modifier “lady.” The book is thus a twofold portrait, not only of Woolson but of the literary world of high-culture magazines and publishers in which she found success but struggled to create a kind of writing that relied neither on the prosaic lack of idealism, as she saw it, in Howellsian realism, or the bloodless analytics of Jamesian psychology.

Bitter Tastes is now available

My book Bitter Tastes: Literary Naturalism and Early Cinema in American Women’s Writing is now available from the University of Georgia Press.

You’ve already seen the list of women writers it covers, so here’s the Table of Contents.

Introduction

Chapter 1

Grim Realism and the Culture of Feeling: Rebecca Harding Davis, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, and Lillie Chace Wyman

Chapter 2

The Darwinists: Borderlands, Evolution, and Trauma

Chapter 3

Bohemian Time: Glasgow, Austin, and Cather

Chapter 4

Red Kimonos and White Slavery: The Fallen Woman in Film and print

Chapter 5

Where Are My Children? Race, Citizenship, and the Stolen Child

Chapter 6

“Manure Widows” and Middlebrow Fiction: Rural Naturalism in the 1920s

Chapter 7

Waste, Hoarding, and Secrets: Modernist Naturalism and the Servant’s Body

 

At the press site: http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/books/index/bitter_tastes

At Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/search/book?searchfor=bitter+tastes

At Powell’s: http://www.powells.com/book/bitter-tastes-9780820341729/61-0

At Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/082034172X/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

More articles at Research Exchange: W. D. Howells, Stephen Crane

 

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Three more of my essays are available at the WSU Research Exchange at https://research.wsulibs.wsu.edu/xmlui/handle/2376/5613, below.

Ideally, MLA Commons would be able to accept links to institutional repositories, and–hooray!–they’re working on it (see above).

Recent Submissions

  • Reflections on Stephen Crane

    Campbell, Donna (Stephen Crane Studies, 2006)
    Like a lot of people, I was first introduced to Crane in a high school English class, but since the book was The Red Badge of Courage, and hence about war, I paid little attention. I did not care about war or about Henry …
  • W. D. Howells’s Unpublished Letters to J. Harvey Greene

    Campbell, Donna (Resources for American Literary Study, 2011)
    The relationship between W. D. Howells (1H37-1920) and his boyhood friend .James Harvey (or Hervey) Greene (1833-90) is treated only briefly in biographies of Howells, an understandable situation given the extensive network …
  • More than a Family Resemblance? Agnes Crane’s “A Victorious Defeat” and Stephen Crane’s The Third Violet

    Campbell, Donna (Stephen Crane Studies, 2007)
    Like his younger contemporary Jack London, who famously claimed to have had “no mentor but myself,” Stephen Crane acknowledged few influences on his writing. Established authors such as W. D. Howells and contemporaries …

So long, Academia.edu: articles posted at WSU Research Exchange

I’ve removed the few uploaded articles I had at Academia.edu, in part because of its attempts to monetize content.   Like Google apps, which changes features all the time (remember the Google equivalent of Bloglines?), Academia.edu is going in a direction that doesn’t look trustworthy because, as Timothy Burke suggests, sooner or later it’s going to start charging authors for content posting.

The Academia.edu excuse of “well, it’ll be like paying to publish in an open access journal” is a complete nonstarter for several reasons. First, paying to publish in the humanities, where we don’t have the STEM community’s access to grants in the seven figures (or, let’s be honest, the four-figure range), is something that most of us not only won’t but can’t consider. Second, we have a well-established and entirely rational distrust of organizations (looking at you, Yelp) that allow paid sponsorship to trump authentic ratings, as this new Academia.edu model would. Third, why would you need Academia.edu with the ability to put, publicize, or find your work in other places?

Did I delete the Academia.edu account? Why bother? The links all now lead elsewhere (Research Exchange). But now it’s just one other place to identify work, and it’s no longer primus inter pares.

Approaches to Teaching Jack London

2015-10-24 10.13.17It’s here! I received a hardcover and a paperback version of Approaches to Teaching the Works of Jack London yesterday. Nicely done, MLA, to give the volume’s contributors both a hardcover and a paperback edition.

I saw an earlier ad with a different cover (here). That one has the traditional dog sled associated so much with London’s Klondike adventures.  I’m glad they chose this picture instead, for unless I’m mistaken, this is the picture of London dressed for going undercover in the slums of London for his book The People of the Abyss. It’s this other London–the rancher, journalist, socialist, etc.–that people need to know better.

The Amazon page didn’t have a table of contents, and I couldn’t find it on the MLA site,  so here’s a picture of the ToC:

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