[As the leaf-peeping begins in earnest (seriously, that’s a thing we do here in New England), a series on some iconic American images of the loss of innocence that we so often associate with autumn. Leading up to this crowd-sourced AutumnStudying post that’s sure to be as popular as pumpkin spice (if such a thing is possible)—add your thoughts in comments!]
Rob LeBlanc follows up Monday’s post, writing, “There is one Cormier novel that explicitly reflects on American feelings about warfare and masculinity, Heroes (1998). It is a worthwhile read and contains the wariness of a post-Vietnam War writing vantage point in the context of WWII.”
Other autumnal highlights:
AnneMarie Donahue shares “Dead Poets’ Society, Sabrina's Thrilling Adventures, Halloween Tree, Something Wicked This Way Comes, ‘Autumn Leaves,’ ‘Autumn in New York,’ Hocus Pocus, Nightmare before Xmas, Sleepy Hollow, too much to mention!”
Jeff Renye highlights H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space” and his poem “The Ancient Track,” Karl Edward Wagner's "Sticks,” Ambrose Bierce’s “The Damned Thing, and John Cheever’s “The Swimmer.” He adds, “I reread it over the Summer (or sometime since March), but definitely “The Ones Who Walk away from Omelas,” LeGuin. The imagery of the place is that of the height of summer, which of course some who gain a terrible knowledge decide to depart.”
Padmini Sukumaran writes, “Persuasion by Jane Austen is especially noted for its theme of Autumn. I also very much appreciate the children's book, The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes—a book about ostracism vs. fitting-in at school, which has a Chapter entitled, "A Bright Blue Day" about a Day in October, which features a turning-point in the Book.”
Andrew DaSilva nominates “Anything taking place in New England: It by Stephen King, Harvard Square by André Aciman, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Herzog by Saul Bellow, Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, The Outer Beach by Robert Finch and Of Plimoth Plantation by William Bradford to name a few.”
On Twitter, Anne Trubek nominates “Hawthorne,” and “all the Transcendentalists, really.”
Carol Loranger tweets “a pitch for some of our lesser-read poets,” including Edwin Arlington Robinson’s “Luke Havergal,” Adelaide Crapsey’s “November Night,” and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “Merry Autumn.”
I’ve got to end with Amy Johnson’s two suggestions: “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” And “Also Poe. I remember reading ‘The Raven’ and ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ in middle school and thinking they were the epitome of creepy at the time.” If that combo ain’t AmericanStudying, I don’t know what is!
And Olivia Lucier agrees, “anything Edgar Allan Poe!”
Next series starts Monday,
PS. What do you think? Other autumn images, stories, contexts you’d share?