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One of my goals for this map is to get students to see not only the limited nature of Old New York, as rendered by Wharton, but to get them think about their own lives–how far have they traveled to get to college? How frequently do they get outside their comfort zones? Do they hope to travel, and why or why not? Where Prufrock “measure[s] out his life with coffee spoons,” Newland Archer, a man with the world at his feet, measures his in a very few city blocks. Here’s a photo of the map we started to create in QGIS today, which demonstrates this clearly: most of Newland Archer’s activities are represented in the polygon in the map to your right. For Wharton insiders, Ellen Olenska’s house is toward the top left (about 10 o’clock from the polygon below) and that dot in the middle of the Hudson marks the lovers’ ferry ride back to New York after Ellen’s arrival from Washington.
I’m Meredith Goldsmith and welcome to my WordPress site. I’m a scholar and teacher of late nineteenth-century American literature. I teach at Ursinus College, a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania; in 2015-2016, I serve as a Humanities Writ Large Fellow at Duke University. My scholarship is mostly on late nineteenth-century women writers and I’ve published in Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, American Literary Realism, modern fiction studies, and other journals; I also currently serve as editor of the Edith Wharton Review. My projects while at Duke synthesize my scholarly and pedagogical interests. Please watch this for comments on literature, mapping, digital humanities, travel, and life in Durham NC.