May 3, 2007
One House Down
I'm reading a book right now called "American Bloomsbury" that has me totally fascinated. Did you know that Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Nathanial Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller all lived in the same town, at the same time? They had relationships with each other, pooling their literary and political interests to become the founders of Transcedentalism. They rented houses and land from each other, had brief romantic interests in one another, used each other as inspiration for characters in novels... They learned, and lived, and wrote, together. They were a community unto themselves. I had no idea! I've always thought of these authors independently. It never occurred to me that they interracted with each other. I love the concept, though. I would love to live next door to someone who wanted to exchange literary critiques, to engage in conversation about writing techniques, and in a greater sense, how to interpret life as writers. Someone who inspired me, and found inspiration in me as well. What would such fertile ground produce? When it comes down to it, yes, you sit alone with a pen in your hand, but you write with the world at your shoulder. What could you write with genius one house down?
Sounds like what a blog is for nowadays...
Posted by: Erin at May 3, 2007 2:44 PM
Someone wasn't paying attention in high school English.
Posted by: Cousin at May 3, 2007 5:56 PM
Yes I was! I guess it doesn't speak much for my English teachers, but I swear I never knew this. Now, I can talk up and down Beowulf, and The Canterbury Tales. But not these guys. Not as a group who all knew each other.
Posted by: WonderGirl at May 3, 2007 6:09 PM
I think it's supposed to be Louisiana May Alcott.
Posted by: Patrick at May 3, 2007 10:10 PM
Wow! I wasn't aware of this either, and I was a very alert Lit student. I think it may have been one of the only classes I didn't sleep through. Mmm...more trivia to crowd up my brain.
Posted by: Amie at May 4, 2007 3:42 PM