Traces of Gold doc

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[...]... sort of puffery) By such measures, the Gold Rush tale may not necessarily qualify as a literature of realism Indeed, out of the events of 1849 comes a great deal of genre-oriented farce, slapstick, satire, and ribald humor, not to mention the “romances” of Bret Harte However, the act of writing and publishing a Gold Rush tale was perceived by many of its initial practitioners to be something of a reality-documenting... temporal distance offers a relatively direct and untroubled explanation, in that the passage of almost twenty years between the publication of Delano’s Pen-Knife Sketches and Harte’s The Luck of Roaring Camp accounts in some measure for the shift in perspective offered by their respective formulations of gold frontier history The demographic complexity of California in general and of San Francisco in... Francisco In the summer of this year, Hubert Howe Bancroft began construction of a building that would in less than two years become the home of his “Literary Industries” corporation A former miner and founder of the largest book, stationery, and printing enterprise west of Chicago, Bancroft would direct dozens of clerks, abstractors, and “research assistants” in the production of one compendious history... generic imagination regarding the realness of the American Far West receives one of its earliest, most signi¤cant, and most lasting contributions through the productions of Gold Rush authors (including, in a provisional sense, Harte), who saw the accuracy of representation as one of their key motivating concerns In the case of Harte and his successors, the separation of “life” from “story” will prove to... work is at issue—how ostensibly realistic depictions of the West must rely on the representation of some form of material resource extraction (mineral, water, and/or oil) Western narratives of nature prove, upon closer examination, to be narratives of natural resources, the result of an ideology of realism inextricably tied to the material unconscious of western American culture.6 By writing about California’s... otherwise, the story of the Gold Rush can be told with a relative degree of con¤dence, largely because it has become the stuff of myth By emphasizing the pastness of the very name by which the ¤rst gold seekers identi¤ed themselves, Harte asserts that mining is no longer a present-tense activity But why this de®ection? Why suggest that the Gold Rush narrative form should convey a story of the past that... originated as an offshoot of the Western Literature Association, that three of this organization’s ¤rst four meetings have been held in the West, and that the two leading centers of ecocritical scholarship are the University of Oregon and the University of Nevada at Reno, it becomes quite clear that the West is once again playing the role of referent to claims about nature, realness, and the realness of nature.16... of a heroic tradition Signi¤cantly, Bret Harte’s The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches, Mark Twain’s Roughing It, and Joaquin Miller’s Songs of the Sierras all appeared within three years of the completion of the railroad” (Literary Frontier 261) Not directly concerned with the question of why the construction of a heroic past You are reading copyrighted material published by the University of. .. University of Alabama Press 1 Bret Harte and the Gold Rush Claim to Realism I n November 1872, just two months shy of the twenty-¤fth anniversary of the discovery of gold in California, Bret Harte attempts in some measure to separate the facts about the Gold Rush experience from the narratives by which that experience might best be conveyed Speaking before a packed house in the city hall of Spring¤eld,... truth-value of the claim to realism found in Gold Rush literature Indeed, in order to appreciate the impact of Harte’s rereading of the Gold Rush narrative form, and in order to assess fully the signi¤cance of that rereading to the idea of realism in western American literature, the following section will examine where Harte comes from; that is, it will look inside the frame and adduce just what it is that Gold . alt="" Traces of Gold You are reading copyrighted material published by the University of Alabama Press. Any posting, copying, or distributing of this. work, contact the University of Alabama Press. Traces of Gold You are reading copyrighted material published by the University of Alabama Press. Any posting,
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