Antebellum Curiososos

This summer, I read about antebellum American culture (spiritualism, mesmerism, arctic exploration, hot air balloons, cryptography, confidence men and painted ladies) in preparation for two interwoven art projects. One is inspired by the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe and the other is “Poesque” but loosely so; both involve insects (think: the Gold Bug). In October, I hope to have some images to go with all the notes I’ve taken, but here’s a quick glance at one of my notebooks, followed by a favorite quote:

 Poe page1


Poe page 2Edgar Allan Poe….

 “….is an avatar to those who have the faith to wait…..The Poe world will sometime be no figure of speech, but will enjoy a day and night of its own….”

 St. James Cummings, South Carolina Military Academy, 1909, quoted in The Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe, by Scott Peeples, p. 20-21.

 Makes me see the Citadel in a whole new light.



About Lillian-Trettin

I grew up in the Appalachian "Bible Belt" of East Tennessee in the southern United States, listening to banjo music and gospel lyrics as well as the Beatles. As a kid, I was curious about religious rituals like speaking in tongues and snake handling but resistant to the fundamentalist thinking they involved. Flannery O'Connor's tales of religious fanatics, con men, bigots, and the spiritually bereft or ambivalent resonate for me. Despite having traveled widely and lived in other places, I am (as so many Southerners claim to be) permanently "South haunted." I returned to making art full time in 2011, following a career as a teacher, researcher, and consultant and after raising two sons. I’m convinced the delay enriched rather than impeded my growth as an artist.
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