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ERIC Number: EJ837072
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Style and the Mole: Domestic Aesthetics in "The Wind in the Willows"
Lerer, Seth
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v43 n2 p51-63 Sum 2009
Writing to her husband's first illustrator, Graham Robertson, in 1931, Elspeth Grahame thanked him for the gift of his recently published memoirs. She called them "entrancing" and goes on to note: "The touch is so light yet so sure that whatever the subject the reading of it would be full of pleasure to any lover of English style." Lovers of English style would have been long familiar with Kenneth Grahame's "Wind in the Willows," originally published in 1908 and, by 1931, available in four different editions. While "The Wind in the Willows" is about many things--the nature of friendship, the loss of English pastoral security, the temptations of fashion and fad--it is, first and foremost, an essay in aesthetics. Style governs each and every creature of its woods and mansions, from Mole's quiet, gentlemanly domesticity to Toad's manic, aristocratic shows. Style governs, too, the progress of its narrative, and throughout this book, Grahame explores techniques of pictorial description and devices of characterization that would come to epitomize what Elspeth could evoke as "English style." In this article, the author discusses the domestic aesthetics in "The Wind in the Willows" and how the book offers an ideal of the aesthetic. The chapters such as "Pipers at the Gates of Dawn" and "Wayfarers All", which have long been read for their exquisite natural descriptions, their aura of the supernatural, and their precious choice of words, are considered, for many readers, as the places of the aesthetic in the book. However, the author suggests that the aesthetic lies, as well, in the familiar items of the everyday. (Contains 37 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)