"Left All Alone in This World's Wilderness" Queer Ecology, Desert Spaces, and Unmaking the Nation in Frank Norris's McTeague Nearly everywhere on earth, sand is principally made up of one element--in some places silica, in others limestone. Ninety percent of a grain is almost always just one of those two elements. But the other 10 percent is the percentage with a difference--the percentage that, in its difference, matters--the percentage that can tell us something about the history of a place. --Vanessa Agard-Jones Can you describe that vast and holy desert, a desert that is so old that it once was the sea? No, you can't. But does that stop you? Never. --Michael Cobb But you have not known what force resides in the mindless things until you have known a desert wind. --Mary Austin "There was no change in the character of the desert," observes the narrator near the end of Frank Norris's McTeague. "Always the same measureless leagues of white-hot alkali stretched away toward the horizon on every hand" (236). Just a few sentences later, the narrator describes the "horrible desolation" of Death Valley, where "not a rock, not a stone" interrupts "the monotony of the ground"
Western American Literature – The Western Literature Association
Published: Aug 27, 2016
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