This is a page about the website, in general. For information on what domestic fiction is, and about the intent of the site's content, go here.
Site's Purpose & History
History: This site was created in the summer of 1998, during
the gap between when my MA program ended & my PhD program
started. I had recently learned HTML and wanted to play around
with it over the summer; because of my love for literature, a
logical choice seemed to be creating a literary "fan"
type of site. I had admired websites like my own, about people
Tan & Zora Neale Hurston,
and wanted to do something similar. I was deciding what author
to dedicate my site and work to when I was looking at a former
professor's site and saw that there were no websites for some
of the authors she works on (Sarah Orne Jewett was one that sticks
out in memory as being missing). So I decided to create a site
with biography & links to the authors that I had studied
in a course with that professor (who now moderates and monitors
this site). A number of the critical papers on the site were
written during that course but not all. A quick look at the contributors page should make clear
who was in the course at Southwest Texas and who was not (if
they are listed as attending SWT, they were in the course). Most
of these folks have moved on to other programs-- but not all
have kept in touch with me about it, so I don't have recent listings
for everyone. Most of the members of that course did receive
their MA, and have moved on the PhD programs or are professional
writers of another sort.
Unless otherwise noted, the basic text on the site (the stuff
on the 'black' pages) has been written by me. I've tried to note
sources for my information, but some of it is just general knowledge
that I've picked up over the years, the same kind of "teaching"
that any professor does in class every day-- in other words,
My purpose: to increase knowledge about the authors featured on the site. To encourage people to read their books. To provide research, bibliographies, and very general biographies of the authors. To get you started-- and encourage you to go to the library for more information. To combat the growing elite nature of knowledge (Should you have to pay for it? Should it only be available on college campuses?) To provide a forum for discussion, and an opportunity for graduate students to be published.
Criticisms of this site
Ah, the critics have arrived! I remember a favorite author who talked about cri-TICKS, and pointed out that some (not all by any means) are really good at pointing out flaws (and sucking the life out of everyone) but don't do anything themselves. Some do not like the site's color (a matter of taste and opinion-- I like it and it's staying this way. For suggestions on improving the readability, look here.)
I apologize if you have trouble with the colors; I choose to avoid the more plain "commercial" white background with blue and red links. I know that this may make it difficult for some readers, some browsers, to read the text-- if this is your case, and you wish to have a more easily readable, printable article, please write to me and I'll send you a plain text version. (There, wasn't that easy?) Some of the e-texts that I attempt to link to are frequently moved (I think this is the source's way of trying to avoid plagiarism, although I'm not sure how effective breaking a mere link is in this.) If a link is broken, please feel free to let me know. I try to keep up with it, but there just aren't enough hours in the day sometimes, and your input would be appreciated.
I have seen a couple reviews of this site, and each time I
see one, I try to go through and fix any problems that the reviewer
notes, to make the site better and more navigable, have more
information, fix any broken links. If you publish a review (even
if it's not altogether positive) please do me the courtesy of
telling me where it is, so that I can see your critiques. And
consider the point of a review-- if you are criticizing, why
don't you give clear examples of the problems, and not make sweeping,
vaguely insulting threats and implications? (One reviewer suggested,
ever so subtly, that maybe I wanted people to cheat; which to
me, seems obviously wrong-- and it didn't look like this person
even bothered to look at the whole site, since some of the criticisms
were answered on the site somewhere).
Finally, about me
I don't really like putting tons about myself; I mean, how
much do you really know about the editor of any journal? You
accept that they are respected because someone has paid them
to be in print. Is this really the best way to respectability?
Maybe. I'm not sure, though. I do have a biographical
sketch of myself on my other site. You can read briefly about
what I'm doing, see a copy of my professional vitae, and see
a spiffy photo of me.