Queries and Replies 2004
QUESTION: I'm a doctoral candidate in Spain, and I am working on Familiar
Spanish Travels. So far I have been uable to find anything regarding this
book, I mean books, reviews, articles or anything related to it. I don't
know if you could help me, but if so, I would be very grateful. Thank you
very much in advance.
Antonio Vicente email@example.com 11/30/04
Brenni lists three reviews of Familiar Spanish Travels:
Bookman 38:387, Dec. 1913
Nation 97:567, Dec. 11, 1913
New York Times Book Review 18:679, Nov. 30, 1913
Firkins has a single complimentary paragraph, speaking in general terms
of the value of WDH's mature return to the subject matter.
Gary Culbert gculbert
Source of Sarah Orne Jewett Quotation
I'm looking for the source of the following literary allusion: "It
is the higher nature that yields, because it is the most generous." A
Google search will yield only the text in which the allusion occurs
(Sarah Orne Jewett's novel A Country Doctor) and a previous
posting of mine with the same query. It's possible that she's
quoting inexactly, from memory, or that it's an English translation
of a line whose source is in another language. Any help in
tracing this line to a source will be most appreciated.
Frederick Wegener, fwegener at csulb.edu
Howells Quotation on Novels
QUESTION: I am looking for the source of a quotation attributed to Howells: "We
were travellers before we were novellers". Any suggestions?
Charles Baraw baraw63 at mac.com 10-3-04
Howells and Alexander Black
QUESTION: I am looking for any documentation of acquaintance between
Howells and Alexander Black. Correspondence or Howells's reviews
of Black's work (i.e. _Miss Jerry_) would be helpul to my project.
Images of Howells
I am trying to obtain an image (and permission to use it) of William
Dean Howells. I am hoping to use this image in a book I am designing
called "To Be Young In America: Growing Up With the Country 1776-1940".
The book is being published by Little, Brown & Company Books
for Young Readers. A chapter in this book focuses on Howells' childhood,
and an image of him would nicely complement the text. Any ideas on
who might have such images & own the rights to them?William J.
Library at Harvard University has a large Howells collection,
including many images, and would be an excellent place to start.
| Quotation help needed
QUESTION: I need the correct rendering of a statement or quote from Boys
Town. Cannot seem to find my copy of this recently acquired book,
but the quote seems to be apopros for raising two teenage sons:
"There is a time appointed between childhood and adulthood, the product of which
thanks, glenn klein firstname.lastname@example.org
| "Wild little Canadian
QUESTION: I'm working with _The Rise of Silas Lapham_, and I'm interested
in whether or not anyone has identified the "rather wild little Canadian
watering-place on the St. Lawrence, below Quebec" where Anna Corey and
her daughters meet Irene and Persis Lapham. I'm interested, especially,
in what vacationing there would mean economically, given the Corey family's
dwindling fortune and the Lapham family's conspicuous consumption.
Ball State University 7/19/04
Howells's Essay on Charleston,
I am a reference librarian trying to answer a reference question
regarding Howells in a collection that does have a bibliography of
I am trying to find the publication information regarding Howells' essay
on the city of Charleston, SC. Two travel books published in 1917 by
other authors quote from it.
My searching so far has turned up no answer. Any help you can supply
will be greatly appreciated. I do know that John Mead Howells did live
for a while in Charleston, or visited extensively.
Charleston County Public Library
68 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401 email: greeneh at ccpl.org
| According to Gibson and Arms' _Bibliography_
(1948), p. 154, "In Charleston," "a travel sketch," was first published
in _Harper's Monthly_, October 1915 (Vol. 131), pp. 747-757.
So far as I can tell, it was not reprinted by Howells in a later collection.
of a Dream": Translation Question
QUESTION: I am currently advising a Japanese graduate student
about her translation of "The Shadow of a Dream" (which,
if it is published, would be the first-ever translation of a Howells
work in Japanese). We solved most of the problems, but the very
last sentence of the novel confused both of us:
"My wife [Isabel March] does not permit it to be said, or even suggested,
that our feelings are not at our bidding, and that there is no sin where there
has been no sinning."
This seems contradictory to the entire tenor of the novel's concluding
chapter. Throughout the book, Isabel has always indignantly refuted the
notion that Hermia and Nevil were consciously in love before Faulkner's
death. One would have expected "She does not permit it to be said
. . . that there has been sin where there has been no sinning."
Did the double negative ("does NOT permit to to be said . . . that
there has been NO sin . . .") throw Howells for a loop, or, more
likely, am I missing something?
James N. Westerhoven
In order to give you some feedback, here is the comment by Carrington
in PLOTS AND CHARACTERS IN THE FICTION OF WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS:
"The Marches feel that Faulkner's dream had power over his widow and his friend
only because they were completely guiltless. March thinks that even if
Nevil had lived he and Hermia would never had married. Isabel feels that
if they had married, they couldn't have kept their self-respect for each other. March
wonders whether their suffering had a purpose or was simply their fate: he clings
to the former belief. Neither of the Marches is willing to admit the hypothesis
that perhaps Faulkner's dream was based on fact, that perhaps Hermia and Nevil
really were in love with each other while Faulkner was still alive" (pp.173-174).
I would read the line in question pretty much as it initially appears,
though the longer one looks at it the less clear it is. Isabel
believes we are responsible for our our feelings(i.e., we are culpable
for the feelings we allow ourselves to have). Consequently, one
need not have an actual act to be be involved in sin (Don't say that). The
feeling is enough. The irony here could be that the potential lovers
are so punctilious that the dream itself (rather than their actual feelings)
could create a sense of guilt. Perhaps, then, the sense of guilt
could create the sin, rather than the reverse. In any case, these
two people are in an impossible moral quandary (perhaps caused only by
Faulkner's dream). WDH was, too, and he solved the problem by use
of the convenient railway post. This is probably the least fair
authorial trick to solve a problem in all of his work, and it is always
good for a laugh when one thinks of how he was inspired to get out of
the book by this weird deux ex machina.
Interesting question and interesting insight into Isabel's moral rigidity.
Gary Culbert 2-25-04
Howells's poem "Thanksgiving"
QUESTION: I have a poem called "Thanksgiving" written
out and signed by Howells. He has dated the poem to New York, 1865,
although this copy was written and dated Boston, Oct 29, 1886. I've
not had any luck finding this in his published works. What do I have
skanderbeg50 at hotmail.com
first few lines are as follows:
Lord, for the erring thought
Not [u/i]nto evil wrought:
Lord, for the wicked will
Betrayed and baffled still;
The poem "Thanksgiving" was published in Nation (1:708)
on December 7, 1865. It was republished several times in anthologies
as recently as 1948. Publishing history is available in Brenni (p. 40).
The poem was not published in WDH's collected poetry volumes.
Gary Culbert (gculbert at echs.bellevue.wa.us.)
Howells's poem "Thanksgiving" first appeared in a "Minor
Topics" column in the Nation, 7 Dec. 1865, and was reprinted
in Poems (Boston: James R. Osgood, 1873) and in the later
editions of that collection.
A google search on the first line shows the poem was published at least
once in 1919. See: