I want to touch, taste, smell and hear as well as see this land. If it stinks of manure on the fields I want to know it. If the water on any given mountain is sweet I want to know just how sweet. I want to hear the wind in the grass as well as see it push the trees around. But most of all I want to feel all of these things.
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View our Athletics calendar. Nathan Gower [ 1]. However, literary accounts of his life strongly suggest he suffered somewhere on the broad spectrum of affective disorders, and there is some speculation that his suicide at the age of 26 was partially the result of a psychotic break McPherson The first of these themes is the pervasiveness of extreme isolation.
I lean back, try to forget these fields and flanking hills. A long time before me or these tools, the Teays flowed here. I can almost feel the cold waters and the tickling the trilobites make when they crawl.
All the water from the old mountains flowed west. But the land lifted. I have only the bottoms and stone animals I collect. I blink and breathe. My father is a khaki cloud in the canebrakes, and Ginny is no more to me than the bitter smell in the blackberry briers up on the ridge.
Like the characters of his fiction, Pancake often felt extremely isolated from his peers, especially when he spent time as an M. While he was able to maintain a handful of deep friendships, his erratic behavior, often exacerbated by heavy use of alcohol, drove him deeper into isolation. To be sure, alcoholism or drug addiction is often strongly correlated with mood disorders, and Pancake certainly explored the idea of alcohol dependency in his fiction.
From the way her mouth is hanging limp I see she is pretty drunk. One can confidently surmise that Pancake drew upon his own relationship with alcohol to be able to flesh out these characters so fully. In a narrative reflection about his relationship with Pancake, McPherson paints a picture of a man who turned to alcohol on most any occasion, but particularly when he was feeling anxious or irritated Within that private room.
Near dusk on April 8, , for reasons unknown to this day, a drunken Pancake broke into the empty house of a neighbor, and simply sat in the darkness waiting for her to return. When the renter of the home came back and heard Pancake make a noise, she mistook him for a burglar and left the house in fear. Pancake returned to his home — his retreat as mysterious as his entry — and grabbed a gun.
His death was mean, tragic, and mysterious, as if it were torn from the pages of his own fiction. He kept cutting, and when the guts sagged out, a squirming lump fell at his feet. When Pancake dwells on the death of humans, though, he is markedly more sensitive.
One has to wonder if Pancake was trying to talk himself down from the precipices of suicide even then. To dwell on this singular act, though, is to undermine the important work Pancake left behind. In the end, Pancake could not escape the violence that haunted him; but his twelve remarkable short stories remain as beautifully rendered reminders that he fought as hard as he could to do just that. Casey, John. New York: Back Bay Books, Douglas, Thomas E.
Kadohata, Cynthia. McPherson, James Alan. He is currently working on an interdisciplinary humanities Ph. In addition to creative work, his research interests include creative writing pedagogy, contemporary American literature, and intersections of creativity and mental illness. He received an M. A in writing from Spalding University. Request Info Visit Apply. Chat with us x.
Breece D’J Pancake
CU offers many degree programs catered to the kind of Tiger you are. Are you a high schooler , dual credit student , a transfer , international , military student or adult learner? See how you can find your calling at CU. Learn More. You entrust us to offer safety and guidance to your child on their journey to find their calling.
The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake
Breece D'J Pancake b. Pancake was a native of West Virginia. Several of his short stories were published in The Atlantic Monthly and other periodicals during his lifetime. Pancake took his own life on Palm Sunday, , at the age of He was raised in Milton, West Virginia , recognized as the home of handmade Blenko glass. Growing up in Milton, Pancake's best friend was Rick Blenko. Pancake also worked as an English teacher at two Virginia military academies, Fork Union and Staunton.