Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Upstate Writers: Edmund Wilson
Here is another passage from Edmund Wilson's book, Upstate, published in 1971, and relevant now in many ways. Wilson was a writer and critic. His family owned a house in Talcottville, and he often visited. Upstate is a record of those visits and contains many observations of the Utica area. We can take heart from this passage, reminding us that summer will come again, as it always has:
"This afternoon, July 6, I sat out between two trees on the lawn, reading and watching, from my deck chair, the sky and the tops of the trees. Everything was so beautiful and interesting that I stayed out till 8:15. There were squirrels chasing one another across the back roof, and through the trees swallows and other birds, a butterfly as high as the top of the elm, which looked a bright red when the sinking sun shone through its wings. I had never felt so much before that I had the freedom of that realm of treetop, roof and sky; and I could look away toward the river, where the shadows were falling on the pastures. Later, when I was getting dinner, I looked again at this view through the open front door; deep blue and very dark green."