Edith Wharton pp 103-130 | Cite as

‘Literature’ or the Various Forms of Autobiography

  • Janet Beer Goodwyn


In her autobiography, A Backward Glance, published in 1934, Wharton describes in topographical terms the elation she felt at the publication of her first collection of short stories:

At last I had groped my way through to my vocation, and thereafter never questioned that story-telling was my job, though I doubted whether I should be able to cross the chasm which separated the nouvelle from the novel. Meanwhile I felt like some homeless waif who, after trying for years to take out naturalization papers, and being rejected by every country, has finally acquired a nationality. The Land of Letters was hence forth to be my country and I gloried in my new citizenship.1


Artistic Achievement Rich World Aesthetic Education Reverential Tone Topographical Term 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance (New York, 1934; rpt. London: Constable, 1972), p. 119.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    Edith Wharton, Hudson River Bracketed (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1929), p. 3.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), p. 78.Google Scholar
  4. 49.
    Edith Wharton, The Gods Arrive (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1932), p. 432.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Janet Patricia Beer Goodwyn 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Beer Goodwyn

There are no affiliations available

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