The Country of the Pointed Firs - Sarah Orne Jewett - Страница 1 из 152


THE COUNTRY OF THE POINTED FIRS
By Sarah Orne Jewett
Note:
SARAH ORNE JEWETT (1849-1909) was born and died in South Berwick, Maine.
Her father was the region's most distinguished doctor and, as a child,
Jewett often accompanied him on his round of patient visits. She began
writing poetry at an early age and when she was only 19 her short story
"Mr. Bruce" was accepted by the Atlantic Monthly. Her association with
that magazine continued, and William Dean Howells, who was editor at
that time, encouraged her to publish her first book, Deephaven (1877),
a collection of sketches published earlier in the Atlantic Monthly.
Through her friendship with Howells, Jewett became acquainted with
Boston's literary elite, including Annie Fields, with whom she developed
one of the most intimate and lasting relationships of her life.
The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896) is considered Jewett's finest
work, described by Henry James as her "beautiful little quantum of
achievement." Despite James's diminutives, the novel remains a classic.
Because it is loosely structured, many critics view the book not as
a novel, but a series of sketches; however, its structure is unified
through both setting and theme. Jewett herself felt that her strengths
as a writer lay not in plot development or dramatic tension, but in
character development. Indeed, she determined early in her career to
preserve a disappearing way of life, and her novel can be read as a
study of the effects of isolation and hardship on the inhabitants who


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