Reading St. Lawrence County

"Literary imagination is incurably local..."--Dante, Divine Comedy*
"How do people imagine the lands they find themselves in?"
-Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams*

Yesterday, we recieved in the York Staters mailbox a short email from Christy up in the North Country about her great website Reading St. Lawrence County: Annotated Literary Highlights. Described as "an interactive regional literatures project," Reading St. Lawrence County is based upon her MA Thesis for the U of R about regional literature from St. Lawrence. In her introduction, she writes:

The study of regional literature is arguably a thing of the past. Perhaps it's because the term "regionalism" can muster up images of poor rural Victorians struggling against the industrialization of the modern era or stark pioneering families struggling against the environs of the American West. Regional literature is in its simplest definition the literature of a particular region, and depending on the region, this kind of study may perhaps seem outmoded or merely uninteresting in literary studies today... Admittedly, the regional literature of St. Lawrence County is all of these things--largely written in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, likely uninteresting to those without ties to the area, and completely left out of the larger canon of American Literature. However, this project unabashedly works against all of these disadvantages and seeks simply to compile a useful resource on the literary heritage of this Northern New York county for those interested in reading about it.

The heart of the website is a categorized listing of books written about the county and its citizens. Each contains a short description, photo of the cover and information about the author and publisher. This is a tremendous resource for historians and readers alike, primarily those within the County, but for anyone with an interest in the area. Thanks for the great work Christy!

-Posted by Jesse

Note: Those interested in Upstate Literature might also enjoy our Upstate Book List. -J

*Both are quoted from Reading St. Lawrence County.


Abby said...

thanks for this really interesting link!

Jesse said...

I just wish there were wider regional databases, such as one for each larger area of the state (the North Country, CNY, the Southern Tier, etc) and an upstate-wide database. But such are dreams...