2006 Research Fair Archive - English Abstracts
Editing a National Literature and Art Magazine
Quite a few national literary magazines are edited by graduate students in M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) programs, but Ellipsis is the best known of only three national literary magazines edited by undergraduates. Editor-in-Chief Trisina Dickerson, Poetry Editors Miles Fuller and Anna Hansen, and Prose Editor Stephanie Petersen will discuss the challenges of reading and evaluating as many as 3000 submissions from around the country, many from writers with published books and advanced degrees.
America is famous for its traditions of venturing into the wild. Jon Krakauer calls it “taking your wounds to the wilderness for a cure, conversations, a rest, or whatever”. The pastoral offers an escape from the tensions of the present while connecting to the outside world and examining their inner consciousness. In my essay, the experiences of two men seeking answers in the wild mirror Thoreau’s famous attempt to face the world with a renewed perspective. The individual experience in the wild illustrated by Jon Krakauer in Into the Wild and Scott Carrier in Running After Antelope describe an escape into the pastoral, in order to repair and cure their wounds. The self examining experience offered by a simplified life in the wild transforms a primarily escapist motive into a solution for individual difficulties.
Pastoral, Salvation, and Narrative Style in Thoreau and Maclean
Pastoral literature has illustrated the relationship between humans and nature since Third Century BC and has now become an essential and ever-present part of American literature. Two prominent works in the American Pastoral, Walden by Henry David Thoreau and Norman Maclean’s “A River Runs through It,” can be further classified in the post-pastoral, as defined by Terry Gifford, because of their distinctively personal, introspective, and revealing relationships with nature. Both wrote about removing themselves from society to find salvation, but nature did not ultimately bring salvation because the men had to return to society and its omnipresent problems. Nevertheless, their search for answers and truths was achieved by aligning themselves with nature. However, what they discovered could only be realized and truly understood through the act of writing, because their narrative style combined many different techniques that allowed them to fully analyze and comprehend what they discovered in nature.