Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A History of New York

I'm taking a class called Writing New York this semester (primarily for fun because it's in the English Department) and so far its been a very interesting mix of literature and history regarding New York City. Learning about the perceptions of New York that people had in the 18th and 19th centuries has given me a whole new perspective on the city and the streets that I walk down everyday.

It got me to thinking about Nebraskan literature a bit too. Nebraska literature was a required part of my high school's English curriculum and we read a book called Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt. While Neihardt was a Nebraska native, Black Elk, a Sioux medicine man whose stories the book depicts, was not. It was a wonderful book, but as that was the only required reading for Nebraska literature, I don't feel like I learned much about the relationship between Nebraska and literature.

I read Willa Cather's My Antonia (another Nebraska native) last year and felt that her descriptions of Nebraska were extremely fascinating. Of course, she had to move to New York City before she could write about her home state.

Maybe there just isn't much of a relationship between Nebraska and literature, at least nothing like the relationship between New York and literature. Check out the blog that my teachers have for the class.

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