Mary Austin: Land of Journey's Ending

(672 words)

Written in the genre and form that first brought her fame, The Land of Journey's Ending (1924), a collection of sketches about the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico, can be read as Austin's attempt to examine the cultures of Southwestern peoples and to understand from that study the effect of an idea she'd been working on in her translations of American Indian poetry—the idea of the landscape line (see entry on Austin's The American Rhythm for a fuller description of this idea). Weaving human and natural history together with ethnography, Austin creates a book that is meant, according to its authorial preface, as both prophecy and ritual, lyrically reiterating, and in many cases developing more fully, her familiar themes.…

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Hoyer, Mark T.. "Land of Journey's Ending". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 June 2003
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]