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to add to the hubris of publishing my own fiction and poetry a further affront to the published word, by putting my unpublished literary scholarship online.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.
The Poetry of N. Scott Momaday
Scott Momaday's The Ancient Child
William Eastlake's House Made of Dawn
Fragments of an Essay on The Robber Bride
Native Shading in the Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin
Robinson Jeffers' Moral Universe
The Procession to Apocalypse in the Buckskin Man Tales
Frederick Manfred's Katherine King and the Nature of the Female in King of Spades
The Sexual Issue Frederick Manfred's The Manly-Hearted Woman
Vardis Fisher's The Mothers
Vardis Fisher's Objective Epic