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Entries Tagged as 'Virginia Literature'

‘A farmer who also writes’

May 10th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

From OpenCulture.com: In November of 1952, the normally reclusive [William] Faulkner allowed a film crew into his secluded world at Oxford to make a short documentary about his life. The film, shown here in five pieces, was funded by the Ford Foundation and broadcast on December 28, 1952 on the CBS television program Omnibus. The scripted […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature

Bad Thoughts, Good Health, & Good Humor

October 23rd, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

William Byrd II was a planter, an explorer who helped fix the line between Virginia and North Carolina, and a founder—he established Richmond. (He even put an ad in the paper announcing the new town!) He also was a prolific, and secret, diarist. In a coded scribble that he learned from this book, he noted […]

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Tags: Virginia History · Virginia Literature

Gigi’s Gabriel

October 11th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

If you’re in Charlottesville tonight, join me for an event at WriterHouse: “Portal to the Past: Archival Sources and the Writing Process with Gigi Amateau”: In the process of writing her middle grade novel Come August, Come Freedom, author Gigi Amateau spent time researching primary documents in several archives. A document, a journal or a blacksmith account […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia History · Virginia Literature

Hard Times in Old Virginny

August 21st, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

As we noted earlier, today is the anniversary of Nat Turner’s rebellion. Whether this uprising of slaves, which took place over two days in 1831, was “successful” and whether I fairly quoted Thomas Jefferson is an issue raised in the comments. Our reader appears uncomfortable with the notion that Turner, and his acts, have become […]

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Tags: Virginia Arts · Virginia History · Virginia Literature

Quote of the Day

July 9th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

From the Southern Literary Messenger, July 1863: We are receiving too much trash in rhyme. What is called “poetry,” by its authors, is not wanted. Fires are not accessible at this time of year, and it is too much trouble to tear up poetry. If it is thrown out of the window, the vexatious wind […]

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Tags: Quote of the Day · Virginia Literature

Who Is She?

June 12th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

From the Associated Press via ArtDaily.org: Private Thomas W. Timberlake of Co. G, 2nd Virginia Infantry found this child’s portrait on the battlefield of Port Republic, Virginia, between the bodies of a Confederate soldier and a Federal soldier. Eight photographs are publicly releasing the images in the admittedly remote chance a descendant might recognize a […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature · Visual History

Department of Bad Predictions (Again)

June 12th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

I’m reading Maurie McInnis‘s award-winning new book, Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade. In it, she mentions the English-born Presbyterian minister George Bourne, who lived for years in the Shenandoah Valley and was so horrified by his witness of slavery there that in 1834 he published Picture of Slavery in […]

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Tags: Art of Google Books · Virginia History · Virginia Literature

Department of Bad Predictions

June 11th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

This is from George William Bagby‘s “Editor’s Cable” in the June 1862 issue of the Southern Literary Messenger: We believe that the battles before Richmond were decisive. The crisis in our destiny is past. The period of convalescence may be more or less protracted, there may be slight relapses, but the worst is over. With […]

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Tags: Virginia History · Virginia Literature

But They Could Not Produce a Poet

June 6th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

As far as I know, Thomas Jefferson was not a poet, although he did disparage other people’s poetry. In Notes on the State of Virginia, he wrote: Among the blacks is misery enough, God knows, but no poetry. Love is the peculiar oestrum of the poet. Their love is ardent, but it kindles the senses […]

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Tags: Thomas Jefferson · Virginia History · Virginia Literature

John Reuben Thompson, Editor

May 25th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Thompson John Reuben (undated copy of another photograph). An alumnus of the University of Virginia, John Reuben Thompson (1823–1873) was a poet, essayist, and critic. In 1847, Thompson purchased the Southern Literary Messenger, and published work by many of the most prominent southern authors, including Edgar Allan Poe, Philip Pendleton Cooke, William Gilmore Simms, and Henry Timrod. […]

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Tags: Holsinger Collection · Virginia Literature · Visual History

I Want to Live in Upperville

May 20th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 2 Comments

This poem by John Updike, “Upon Learning That a Town Exists in Virginia Called Upperville,” appeared in the New Yorker on May 20, 1961. In Upperville, the upper crust Say “Bottoms up!” from dawn to dusk And “Ups-a-daisy, dear!” at will— I want to live in Upperville One-upmanship is there the rule And children learn […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature · Virginiana

Author of Splendid Nightmares

May 17th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

That’s how the New York Times described author Maurice Sendak in its obituary: “Author of Splendid Nightmares.” In the meantime, did you know that the University of Virginia Press published two of his books? Ten Little Rabbits (1970) and Fantasy Sketches (1981) are now out of print, but the press’s blog offers up a few […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature

The Transubstantiation of Virginia Dare

May 14th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

File this under … what? The odd twists and turns of history and politics? Whatever the case, it begins (for me) with a column just published by the British-born writer John Derbyshire. Recently fired from the National Review for writing a column (for another publication) in which he urged his own children to avoid black […]

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Tags: Virginia History · Virginia Literature

Morning Mtns, 1973

May 6th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

This poem, “Va. Sun. AM. Dec. ’73″ by Eleanor Ross Taylor, was published in the New Yorker on July 18, 1977: morning mtns & interstitial deer sheets flick wedding ring clicks against the headboard things are disappearing forever mtns behind the mounting pines deer shot wedding rings flung in drawers Suns. no diff from rest […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature · Virginiana

The Flat Light Rising

April 29th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

A poem, “Low Fields and Light,” by W. S. Merwin that appeared in the New Yorker on November 5, 1955: I think it is in Virginia, that place That lies across the eye of the mind now Like a gray blade set to the moon’s roundness, Like a plain of glass touching all there is. The […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature · Virginiana

Being Edgar Allan Poe

April 26th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

Ahead of this weekend’s release of The Raven, Yahoo!News wants us to be aware of all the “peculiar similarities” between the writer Edgar Allan Poe and the actor John Cusack: Cusack dove deep into Poe’s writing, hoping to get intimately in touch with the writer’s macabre spirit, but the two are actually more similar than Cusack […]

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Tags: Separated at Birth · Virginia Literature

As Southern as a Mid-Priced Rye Whiskey

April 24th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

From the poem “First Families, Move Over!” by Ogden Nash that appeared in the New Yorker on November 16, 1935: Carry me back to Ole Virginny, And there I’ll meet a lot of people from New York. There the Ole Massa of the Hounds is from Smithtown or Peapack of Millbrook, And the mocking bird […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature · Virginiana

Sir Walter Gets His Due; or, “He was no Slug”

April 17th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Our contributor Mark Nicholls (see George Percy and George Somers) has co-authored, with Penry Williams, a new biography of Sir Walter Raleigh. Ironically, Nicholls did not author our Raleigh entry, but perhaps he should have: The Atlantic has just published a rave review of Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend, implying this to be […]

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Tags: News & Updates · Virginia History · Virginia Literature

Mary Johnston’s Plea

January 5th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

The historian David Blight has written a piece for the Wall Street Journal naming his top-five novels about the Civil War. Only one of the novelists is a Virginian: Mary Johnston. Here’s what Blight wrote about her Cease Firing, published in 1912. Born into a well-to-do Virginia family in 1870, daughter of a Confederate officer […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature

RIP: Eleanor Ross Taylor

January 4th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

The poet Eleanor Ross Taylor died on December 30 in Falls Church. The longtime Charlottesville resident had been married to the Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Peter Taylor, but was a respected artist in her own right. “The poet was known as a quiet, genteel and reclusive person,” writes The Daily Progress, “who often worked in her […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature

‘Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!’

April 25th, 2011 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

On on the occasion of her birthday, here’s a bonus fact about Constance Cary Harrison: she seems to have been responsible for convincing the poet Emma Lazarus to pen her famous sonnet, “The New Colossus,” which is engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Harrison herself told the story years later. She approached […]

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Tags: Virginia History · Virginia Literature

Cather Birthplace for Sale

March 24th, 2010 by Brendan Wolfe · 3 Comments

Willa Cather‘s birthplace, a tw0-story log house on Back Creek near Winchester, is for sale. In 1950, Charles Brill’s parents bought the house, and he spent most of his life on the property. Now Brill is looking for a buyer who can maintain the house—perhaps even a member of Cather’s family. Brill is committed to selling […]

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Tags: Around the State · Virginia Literature

Eleanor Ross Taylor NBCC Finalist

January 25th, 2010 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

Eleanor Ross Taylor is a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle award in poetry for her collection Captive Voices: New and Selected Poems, 1960–2008. From our entry: Taylor’s poetry is most often compared to that of Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Bishop, and Marianne Moore. “[O]f course I loved Emily Dickinson and read a lot of […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature

A Strange Crepuscular Tradition

January 20th, 2010 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

I love it when the New York Times uses big words like crepuscular, as in the “strange crepuscular tradition” of some black-clad dude visiting Edgar Allan Poe‘s graveside every year on his birthday—which was yesterday—bearing three red roses and a bottle of Cognac. The tradition goes back to 1949, apparently. But the visitor—whose identity, or […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature

Vigorous! Dashing! Poet?

January 19th, 2010 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

New images of Edgar Allan Poe have surfaced, the Associated Press reports in a rather excitable article that calls the writer “vigorous” and “dashing.” The more robust Poe is captured in a small watercolor by A.C. Smith, one of just three surviving portraits of the author, which will be shown publicly for the first time […]

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Tags: Virginia Literature · Visual History