Read e-book online Double Fertilization PDF

By Val Raghavan

ISBN-10: 3540277919

ISBN-13: 9783540277910

ISBN-10: 3540277927

ISBN-13: 9783540277927

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Names of both people and places, even close connections and home towns, are often left out as irrelevant. Time is telescoped in order to focus on significant spiritual experiences; ordinary questions of eating and sleeping and earning a living and seeing friends and family and falling in love are almost entirely absent. There may be the odd patch of dialogue or more detailed account of a particular encounter or episode, but it would never be enough to fulfil the expectations of a modern novel-reader.

But while the Puritans attempt to deny the folklore and customs of their native land, the Count stands, spider-like, at the centre of an ever-proliferating web of stories. It does not matter that he himself is never too explicit about the reasons for his presence in this ‘flyblown town’ (p. 52): the very fact of his alienness generates conjecture of the most imaginative kind. It is whispered, for example, that he was once so accurate a shot, they said only that the devil himself – it’s best not to pay attention to such stories, even if Maddalena once worked in a house in San Francisco where Roxana used to work and somebody told her – but the Count’s shadow falls across the wall; they hush, even if Maddalena furtively crosses herself.

The recurring Old World narrative referent in both these short stories is Jacobean tragedy, whose tragic vision is itself predicated on the violent repercussions surrounding a refusal to forget the misdeeds or mistakes of the past. ‘John Ford’s ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore’ takes place on the prairies of the American West. It is a landscape on which an enduring myth of American identity has been founded, an identity defined by reference to a macho code of hardy individualism and pioneering spirit. But what is truly startling about this story is the thoroughness with which it recontextualizes such concepts by reinscribing them within a framework formed exclusively by Old World texts.

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Double Fertilization by Val Raghavan

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