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MochaMike

MochaMike

Currently reading

Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Mating
Norman Rush
The Unknown University
Roberto Bolaño, Laura Healy
Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion since 1960 (20/21)
Amy Hungerford
The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays
James Wood
Reading the World - Dianne C. Luce

Review in progress.

Chapter 1: Landscape Memory—The Orchard Keeper: while commenting on an abundance of regional and historical facts, the author points to events in the novel which presuppose those conditions, places, and events; cites numerous oral histories (including one by Lemuel Ownby, a remarkable likeness of Arthur “Ather” Ownby), local histories, and other primary sources; discusses the devastating effects of railroad logging, the creation of the Smoky Mountain National Park, and the TVA. Includes a discussion of the region’s increasing distrust of the Federal government, particularly with regard to the ‘blockaders’ and the excise tax on whiskey. Ecocriticism gives voice to the natural world of TOK and precedes a Marxist (although she says Marxian) consideration of the role of technology in the novel. Finally, three character studies of the ‘defenders of the orchard (Arthur Ownby, Marion Sylder, and John Wesley Rattner) complete the chapter. After reading this chapter, it’s incredible how all the pieces seem to fit—a mountain mosaic—so much packed into so few pages. She's especially good at unpacking the final scene in the graveyard.

Additional chapter keywords: antinomian, mentor, vengeance, Gnostic, ecocentric, repudiation [not sure if this is helpful, but, hey, there it is]