Dancing Badger Literary Essays

I have been threatening for some time to add to the hubris of publishing my own fiction and poetry a further affront to the published word, by putting my unpublished literary scholarship online. Well, it begins. I have a handful of essays written for literary events and never published, and most of them are certainly worthy of publication. I quit trying to publish "scholarship" when I left academe, almost twenty years ago.

My departure from academe was reluctant. My wife and I could not get by on one university salary, so I bid my teaching career farewell with the sadness of a person leaving a beloved home they could no longer make the payments for. But since that day, the ludicrous cant of political correctness has copulated with the fascist gibberish of deconstruction to create a literary climate in scholarly publishing slightly less amusing than a bad imitation of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, so my moving on has been "felicitous." Occasionally I read what now passes for the "highest" literary criticism, and I find no reason for regret.

Why would I subject myself to the tiresome exercise of finding a journal willing to print the essay? I don't read those journals, I don't need tenure, and I don't delude myself that publishing my critical work will change the world in some significant way.

So I make no claims for the essays, except that I know what I'm talking about. They don't conform to the latest dicta of the MLA Style Sheet; they are in the British style (gentlemen do not demand citations). They don't follow any citational formulae, for the most part, or if they do, only incidentally. They are not "politically correct" in this respect or that. They say nothing of any value about "textuality," "signifiers," or "representations." They are, in a word, Luddite junk. But if you are interested in the topics — Robinson Jeffers, Frederick Manfred, Vardis Fisher, Ursula Le Guin, Scott Momaday, others &mdash you will find them entertaining, provocative, and stimulating. If not? Oh well.

 Diamonds and Turquoise:

Scott Momaday: Poetry and ProsodyThe Poetry of N. Scott Momaday

 The Fictive Wish:

Scott Momaday: The Ancient ChildScott Momaday's The Ancient Child

 The Complaisance of Privilege:

Momaday: House Made of DawnWilliam Eastlake's House Made of Dawn

 Who Killed Zenia?

Margaret Atwood: The Robber BrideFragments of an Essay on The Robber Bride

 Green Thoughts Asleep and the Fury of Dreams:

Ursula Le Guin: Always Coming HomeNative Shading in the Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin

 The Contagion of Consciousness:

Robinson Jeffers: Thurso's Landing and MargraveRobinson Jeffers' Moral Universe

 We Sons of Jacob:

Frederick Manfred: Buckskin Man TalesThe Procession to Apocalypse in the Buckskin Man Tales

 Assaying the Mother Lode:

Women in Frederick Manfred's King of SpadesFrederick Manfred's Katherine King and the Nature of the Female in King of Spades

 The Sundered Egg:

Frederick Manfred: The Manly-Hearted WomanThe Sexual Issue Frederick Manfred's The Manly-Hearted Woman

 Survival of the Blood:

Vardis Fisher: The MothersVardis Fisher's The Mothers

 Children of God:

Vardis Fisher: Children of GodVardis Fisher's Objective Epic

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