By Guy Davenport
From Library Journal:
"Connoisseurs of paintings, heritage, faith, and literature will experience this positive number of ten tales through one in every of America's so much erudite writers. even if the tone is usually playful, Davenport layers each one tale with a number of allusions and fairly imprecise meanings that maybe in basic terms the main scholarly readers will totally relish. a superb instance is "Meleager,'' within which the sexual play of 2 boys is juxtaposed with descriptions of geometry. one other is "And,'' a snippet (nine paragraphs) of a parable within which Jesus scatters seeds on a river. extra pleasurable are the longer stories, particularly "O Gadjo Niglo,'' a touching love tale informed by way of Eros, and "Gunner and Nikolai,'' with its shock finishing. Male sexuality is the principal subject, one the writer offers with gentle yet truly severe purpose. The title--a tale in itself--is taken from Falstaff's demise imaginative and prescient, encouraged via the twenty third Psalm. It makes a such a lot becoming image for this most original and ingenious assortment. hugely recommended."
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Extra resources for A Table of Green Fields: Ten Stories
Farber University Archives and Special Collections Department, Brandeis University. GENDER IN DIME-NOVEL WESTERNS 31 narrative devices: stylization, call and response, and the embodiment of metaphor and synecdoche. This indeterminate and uncertain naming is also present in a literary precursor to dime-novel Westerns, James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. ”50 Dime novels avoid resolving identity with name; instead, dime novels proliferate names and identities. Further emphasizing the fluidity of Deadwood Dick’s identity, it is later revealed that the bandit doubles as a young, handsome lad, bearing none of the bodily markings that characterize Deadwood Dick as a member of the working class.
9 This episode demonstrates just how fluid masculinity is in late nineteenth-century America. Mary’s desire to become a cowboy temporarily dislodges masculinity from an essential connection to a male body. For Mary Abbott, being a cowboy in no way requires being a man; one simply needs “a pony, . . 10 The challenge here is not, as the New York Times suggested, Mary’s “victimization” by dime novels but rather Mary’s active GENDER IN DIME-NOVEL WESTERNS 19 affront to dominant power—her father, the parson, and the police, or patriarchy, religion, and the state.
8 The cure for this disorder, as prescribed by S. Weir Mitchell, was outdoor exertion for men and bed rest for women. Neurasthenia’s gendered cures are clearly related to the polarizing policies of American imperialism’s drives of violent conquest and progressive reform. Because of the beneficial health value attributed to strenuous activities by doctors like Mitchell, reinvigorated masculinity seems to provide a template for the imperialist 40 MASCULINE STYLE citizen, and Roosevelt often uses the abundant masculinity of the American citizen as evidence of America’s global superiority.