Monday, September 28, 2009

A bit of boasting

Dave Jenkinson and Gail de Vos to be awarded Distinguished Alumni Awards

Dave Jenkinson and Gail de Vos will be awarded Distinguished Alumni Awards from the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta (U of A) on October 3, 2009.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the U of A Alumni Association's most prestigious award. These awards are conferred each year to recognize living University of Alberta graduates whose truly outstanding achievements have earned them national or international prominence.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ballad Spotting: Dreiser's Murder Ballad

Additional material for Chapter 3 of Stories from Songs: Murder Ballads: Murdered Sweetheart: Female and Male.

Excerpt from Blog: Thimblewicket
Post: Catch and Release: "Dreiser's Murder Ballad"

"Roark Mulligan's "Dreiser's Murder Ballad" is a well-researched, well-written piece on how the murder ballad genre influenced Dreiser's writing of An American Tragedy, but most people won't be able to read it because it exists in an obscure journal behind the firewall of expensive subscription-only databases."

"Mulligan says Dreiser was 'way more influenced by the popular ballads of his time than by simple newspaper research,and that he was more interested in replicating the pathos of a murder ballad than in writing an "accurate" crime novel. Dreiser used the stock elements of a murder ballad: young innocent chick is "soiled" by a handsome, maybe wealthy cad. . .gets her in the family way, lures her to remote spot with promises of marriage, kills her violently in ways that would do Tarantino proud, except: justice prevails and the tribe punishes him".

"Mulligan suggests that Dreiser's sympathies lay more with the murdered girl than with her murderer, but that late in his life, Dreiser entertained the notion that his book had actually inspired more murders, based on an unpublished essay, "American Tragedies," among Dreiser's papers at the University of Pennsylvania's Rare Books and Manuscripts."

Roark Mulligan, "Dreiser's Murder Ballad," Studies in American Naturalism, Summer 2008, Vo. 3, no. 1.

Posted by Cynthia Shearer at Tuesday, September 15, 2009