By Zeese Papanikolas MA BA
In American Silence , a supplement to his earlier research Trickster within the Land of goals , Zeese Papanikolas investigates a couple of major American cultural artifacts and the lives in their makers. For Papanikolas, either the personal disasters and public successes of Clarence King, Henry Adams, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Chandler, and Hank Williams resonate with silences.
summary: In American Silence , a supplement to his earlier examine Trickster within the Land of desires , Zeese Papanikolas investigates a couple of major American cultural artifacts and the lives in their makers. For Papanikolas, either the non-public disasters and public successes of Clarence King, Henry Adams, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Chandler, and Hank Williams resonate with silences
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What he found in that cabin was neither a father or a self, but Clarence King, and, as he put it, he fell into his arms. They talked until dawn, a banquet of talk, of geology and literature and their admiration for Agassiz and—to the repressed Henry Adams’s profound admiration—of women. For King knew women. ” In his Education, Henry Adams would compare King to an Alexander, an Alcibiades. indd 40 1/16/2007 3:29:27 PM For Adams, King had stepped on to the theater of the United States after the war unburdened, as Adams said he himself was, with an education ﬁt not for the next century, but for the last.
It had been a book about peaks climbed with reckless courage; of eons of geologic history dramatized and of landscapes described with lyrical power; of local loungers and teamsters and Indians sketched with the wit of Bret Harte or Mark Twain. Poised on the edge of the Paciﬁc, the young nation might embody itself in just such an Anglo-Saxon as King, ringing his hammer on the highest peaks, a man who measures himself against the degenerate races of the frontier, greaser bandits and “Digger” Indians and retrograde hog-drover Pikes and subhuman Chinese.
The gaps in the geologic and paleontologic record were not accidents, but the very ruptures through which God showed his creative hand. ” The old myths of ﬁre and ﬂood spoke to King. ”26 He saw them engraved in the evidence of rocks and plains; perhaps he sensed them engraved deep in his own history. It is as if the harsh landscape of cataclysm and rift rises out of King’s inner geology as well. indd 42 1/16/2007 3:29:28 PM Goose Creek Mountains of northwestern Utah into the lava-strewn desert of southern Idaho.