Bioregional Biography: The Landscapes of the Lives of Emily Carr and Emma Bell Miles Cover Image
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Bioregional Biography: The Landscapes of the Lives of Emily Carr and Emma Bell Miles
Bioregional Biography: The Landscapes of the Lives of Emily Carr and Emma Bell Miles

Author(s): Kateřina Prajznerová
Subject(s): Recent History (1900 till today), 19th Century, Theory of Literature, American Literature
Published by: Masarykova univerzita
Keywords: Biography; bioregional biography; place-based essays; literary history; literary map; genre of biography;
Summary/Abstract: AS authors of place-based, personal essays, Emily Carr (1871-1945) and Emma Bell Miles (1879-1919) were pioneering cartographers: pioneering in the sense that they were breaking new ground, in terms of the literary history of their respective places as well in terms of the genre of biography; cartographers in the sense that each devoted her life to writing about a place she knew, about herself, creating a body of work that offers a map for others, native-born or not, to find their own way. This chapter examines the interplay of place, self, and narrative in Carr’s portrait of Victoria, British Columbia, and Miles’s portrait of Walden’s Ridge, Tennessee, around the turn of the twentieth century. My aim is twofold: to illustrate, on the example of particular sites, each author’s individual artistic imbrication in the landscape that was her home, an imbrication that resulted in a lasting addition to the literary map of North America; simultaneously, by gleaning references to these particular sites from multiple volumes of their personal nonfiction and pairing the two life-lines into a cross-continental conversation, to show that Carr and Miles relate to place in strikingly similar ways—when their journal entries and essays are surveyed and over-laid, bioregional biography takes shape.

  • Page Range: 233-300
  • Page Count: 68
  • Publication Year: 2011
  • Language: English