Event Title

Self, Salvation, and Story: Writing Rescues on Glenora Peak and the Taylor Glacier

Presenter Information

Michael Branch

Start Date

21-4-1996 9:00 AM

End Date

21-4-1996 5:00 PM

Description

This paper examines John Muir's construction and presentation of self in two narratives of perilous climbing adventures in Alaska. The author compares Alaska missionary Hall Young's romantic image of Muir as a heroic mountaineer with the self-effacing persona of Muir's own books and with the decentered or "transparent" style of Muir's mountaineering narratives. Muir's willingness to celebrate his own prowess as a mountaineer was always predicated upon making nature--in the form of a wild sheep, a flower, a glacier, or a dog--the "hero" of his story. Although Muir became the romantic hero of Hall Young's Alaska stories, his own work projects the romantic sensibility onto the landscape, thereby decentering the human subject.

Comments

Michael Branch is Assistant Professor of Literature and Environment at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he teaches 18th and 19th century American nature writing and environmental literature. He is president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, co-editor of The Height of Our Mountains: Nature Writing from Virginia's Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley (Johns Hopkins University Press, forthcoming 1996), and author of several articles and conference papers on John Muir

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 21st, 5:00 PM

Self, Salvation, and Story: Writing Rescues on Glenora Peak and the Taylor Glacier

This paper examines John Muir's construction and presentation of self in two narratives of perilous climbing adventures in Alaska. The author compares Alaska missionary Hall Young's romantic image of Muir as a heroic mountaineer with the self-effacing persona of Muir's own books and with the decentered or "transparent" style of Muir's mountaineering narratives. Muir's willingness to celebrate his own prowess as a mountaineer was always predicated upon making nature--in the form of a wild sheep, a flower, a glacier, or a dog--the "hero" of his story. Although Muir became the romantic hero of Hall Young's Alaska stories, his own work projects the romantic sensibility onto the landscape, thereby decentering the human subject.