Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square Series "From the Geil Archive"
To learn more about Geil, click here for the Accidental Ethnographer Resource Center
A year ago on Round and Square (16 September 2012)—The New Yorker: Jamaica Kincaid
|[a] Library LP|
|[b] Lily LP|
I graduated from Beloit College with Julia, Amara, Rachel, and Sarah, having double majored in Creative Writing and Literary Studies. I am particularly enamoured of Irish literature, having spent the first semester of my senior year in Dublin, Ireland. I wrote my thesis on Irish folklore and mythology in James Joyce’s Ulysses, and have always sought to surround myself with good stories and to learn from good storytellers. This aim is reflected in my studies at Beloit College, where I read everything from Beowulf to Dickens to Proust, and finally, to William Edgar Geil.
While William Edgar Geil never wrote a Great American Novel, I’m interested in the work that we will be doing in the archive at the Doylestown Historical Society because it strikes me as another form of storytelling. History is the art of crafting stories out of fragments, and this is what we’ll be doing on the blog, along with our own research. We will be reading and scanning typed drafts of Geil’s manuscripts, as well as his personal correspondence, notes, and travel diaries. While not every jotted note, or typed diary entry is riveting, there are some that provide valuable insights into Geil as a man. I’ve enjoyed reading the documents where he proclaims his love for rhubarb pie, or where he types out oral accounts of Chinese folklore traditions.
I came to Doylestown from the East Coast, where I’ve worked in and around New York City for the past few summers at the Poets House, a nationally renowned poetry library, and with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, at River-to-River, a month-long, city-wide arts festival, as well as in an art gallery on Governors’ Island. I expect that in the future I will be drawn to literature and the arts, and I hope to travel as widely as Geil did – to South America and back to Ireland, among other places. As I meander towards that future, however, I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to work in a field that I never had a chance to explore while at Beloit.
|[c] Ireland LP|