Read e-book online A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses PDF

By Anne Trubek

ISBN-10: 0812242920

ISBN-13: 9780812242928

There are various how one can exhibit our devotion to an writer in addition to examining his or her works. Graves make for well known pilgrimage websites, yet way more renowned are writers' residence museums. what's it we are hoping to complete by way of hiking to the house of a lifeless writer? We may work looking for the purpose of thought, desirous to stand at the very spot the place our favourite literary characters first got here to life—and locate ourselves in its place in the home the place the writer himself used to be conceived, or the place she drew her final breath. maybe it's a position in which our author handed in simple terms in short, or even it relatively was once an established home—now completely remade as a decorator's show-house.

In A Skeptic's advisor to Writers' homes Anne Trubek takes a vexed, frequently humorous, and continuously considerate travel of a goodly variety of condo museums around the kingdom. In Key West she visits the shamelessly ersatz shrine to a hard-living Ernest Hemingway, whereas meditating on his misplaced Cuban farm and the sterile Idaho residence during which he dedicated suicide. In Hannibal, Missouri, she walks the bushy line among truth and fiction, as she visits the house of the younger Samuel Clemens—and the purported haunts of Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, and Injun' Joe. She hits literary pay-dirt in harmony, Massachusetts, the nineteenth-century mecca that gave domestic to Hawthorne, Emerson, and Thoreau—and but couldn't accommodate a shockingly complicated Louisa may perhaps Alcott. She takes us alongside the path of apartments that Edgar Allan Poe left in the back of within the wake of his many disasters and to the burned-out shell of a California apartment with which Jack London staked his declare on posterity. In Dayton, Ohio, a charismatic advisor brings Paul Laurence Dunbar to forcing lifestyles for these few viewers prepared to pay attention; in Cleveland, Trubek unearths a relocating remembrance of Charles Chesnutt in a home that now not stands.

Why is it that we stopover at writers' homes? even if admittedly skeptical in regards to the tales those structures let us know approximately their former population, Anne Trubek includes us alongside as she falls not less than a little in love with each one cease on her itinerary and unearths in every one a few fact approximately literature, historical past, and modern America.

Reviews:

"Ms. Trubek is a bewitching and witty trip companion. " --Wall road Journal

"a slender, smart little bit of literary feedback masquerading as clever shuttle writing" --Chicago Tribune

"amusing and paradoxical" --Boston Globe

"a restlessly witty book" --Salon.com

"A blazingly clever romp, filled with humor and hard-won wisdom...[Trubek] crisscrosses the rustic looking for epiphanies at the doorsteps of a few of our extra vital writers." --Minneapolis big name Tribune

Named one of many seven top small-press books of the last decade in a column within the Huffington Post

"Why do humans stopover at writer's houses? What are they trying to find and what do they wish to remove that isn't offered within the present store? This memoir-travelogue takes you from Thoreau's harmony to Hemingway's Key West, exploring the tracks authors and their lovers have laid down through the years. Trubek is a sharp-eyed observer, and you'll want you've got been her trip companion."—Lev Raphael, Huffington Post

"A amazing booklet: half travelogue, half rant, half memoir, half literary research and concrete background, it truly is like not anything else I've ever learn. In puzzling over why we glance to writers' homes for notion after we may be seeking to the writers' paintings, Trubek has—with humor, with self-deprecation, despite occasional anger and sadness—reminded us why we want literature within the first place."—Brock Clarke, writer of An Arsonist's advisor to Writers' houses in New England

"An antic and clever antitravel consultant, A Skeptic's advisor to Writer's homes explores areas that experience served as pilgrimage websites, tokens of neighborhood satisfaction and colour, and zones that confound the canons of literary and old interpretation. With a gimlet eye and indefatigable interest, Anne Trubek friends during the veil of household veneration that surrounds canonized authors and overlooked masters alike. during her skeptical odyssey, she discerns the curious ways that we flip authors into family gods."—Matthew Battles, writer of Library: An Unquiet background

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Extra resources for A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses

Example text

An elite liberal arts school with a great reputation (and also my alma mater), Oberlin is a plum of a job. It is also in Oberlin, Ohio, a town of 8,000 in Lorain County, thirty miles from Cleveland. Lorain County is the second poorest county in Ohio, a state that has been struggling for decades itself. I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and had already lived in Oberlin as a student for four years, so I did not come with the coastal prejudices against the Midwest and rural life that many of my colleagues brought with them to their new academic jobs.

After I returned home, I read about the Injun Joe mentioned in the cave. There are actually two different characters named Injun Joe in Twain’s work. One is a cruel criminal and the other was a harmless man who sometimes drank too much and entertained kids with stories. The latter seems to be a reference to a man named Joe Douglas, who some locals called Indian Joe, and who lived in Hannibal at around the same time as Clemens. Joe was a black man with some Native American blood and a well-known storyteller.

But this was never a tendency in Twain—quite the opposite. Part of Twain’s genius is that he never lost sight of his own role as fiction-maker (including his name), and reveled in the opportunities the imaginary gave him to enhance the world of fact, to make it more real than a strictly faithful re-creation could ever be. Plus, he took great delight in exploring the sometimes slippery edges between truth and falsehood, sincerity and masquerade. What else are all those twins, those Pudd’nhead Wilson and Prince and the Pauper and kings and dukes discussing Shakespeare about?

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A Skeptic's Guide to Writers' Houses by Anne Trubek


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