Katherine Anne Porter, The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter (New York and London: Harcourt, 1972), 354.
Janis Stout, Strategies of Reticence: Silence and Meaning in the Works of Jane Austen, Willa Cather, Katherine Anne Porter, and Joan Didion (Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1990), 125–6.
Katherine Anne Porter, Old Mortality in Pale Horse, Pale Rider: Three Short Novels (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Co., 1964), 189.
Janis Stout notes the “romantic” limits of Miranda’s insight here, “the Byronic exaltation of the solitary rebellious spirit” as well as her later judgment of her youthful “ignorance.” See Stout, Strategies, 137. Unrue interprets Miranda as being unable to reconcile what she sees as two false views of life: the romantic view of her family and the pragmatic view of Eva. She rejects them both, determined to find her own point of view. See Daphne Unrue, Truth and Vision in Katherine Anne Porter’s Art (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1985), 129–30.
Porter’s autobiographical experience of the 1918 influenza pandemic was dramatic and has some parallels to Miranda’s experience in “Pale Horse, Pale Rider.” As Givner’s biography recounts, she did initially fall ill in her rooming house and had great difficulty finding a hospital bed, finally admitted only through the intercession of a friend. She was gravely ill, running a fever of 105 for nine days. The Rocky Mountain News, the newspaper for which she worked, set up her obituary, and the Porter family made funeral arrangements. She was left to die in the hospital and brought back to life by an experimental dose of strychnine. See Joan Givner, Katherine Anne Porter: A Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), 125–6.
Gary Ciuba, “One Singer Left to Mourn: Death and Discourse in Porter’s “Pale Horse, Pale Rider,” South Atlantic Review 61.1 (Winter 1996): 57.
Patricia Rae discusses the term “proleptic elegy”: “What I am calling proleptic elegy is consolatory writing produced in anticipation of sorrow, where the expected loss is of a familiar kind… It records and responds imaginatively to ‘anticipatory grief.’” She traces proleptic grieving to Freud and to Derrida. See Patricia Rae, “Double Sorrow: Proleptic Elegy and the End of Arcadianism in 1930’s Britain,” in Modernism and Mourning, ed. Patricia Rae (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2007), 213–14.
Peter M. Sacks, The English Elegy: Studies in the Genre from Spenser to Yeats (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985), 312. Sacks also observes that elegies associated with World War I particularly appear to be unconventional while still retaining pertinent aspects of the elegiac genre (305–306). See also John Vickery, The Modern Elegiac Temper (Baton Rogue: Louisiana State University Press, 2006), who also addresses war and elegy, specifically modern elegy’s tendency to combine with related poetic forms.
See Sacks, Elegy, 261. In The Great War and Modern Memory, Fussell repeatedly remarks on how the poetry and prose of World War I soldiers engage the conventions of the pastoral tradition, sometimes in ironic contrast to the destruction and savagery of battle, sometimes sincerely in recognition of the alternate life the trenches came to represent. For one example, see Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory (London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), 233.
Katherine Anne Porter, The Collected Essays and Occasional Writings of Katherine Anne Porter, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970), 33–4.
For another discussion of the constraining nature of Adam’s uniform, see Mary Titus, The Ambivalent Art of Katherine Anne Porter (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2005), 164.
Joan Givner, Katherine Anne Porter: A Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), 129.
Pearl James, Picture This: World War I Posters and Visual Culture (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2010), 5.
Jean Gallagher, “The Great War and The Female Gaze: Edith Wharton and the Iconography of War Propaganda,” Literature Interpretation Theory 1 (January 1996): 27.
Although most of her article focuses on racial issues in war propaganda, Keene has an excellent discussion of the purposes of Liberty Bonds and the advertising campaigns necessary to support them. See Jennifer D. Keene, “Images of Racial Pride: African American Propaganda Posters in the First World War,” in Picture This: World War I Posters and Visual Culture, ed. Pearl James (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2010), 207–40, esp. 221–2.
Pearl James, “Images of Femininity in American World War I Posters,” in Picture This: World War I posters and Visual Culture (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2010), 278–9.
For a discussion of the physically exhausting, often traumatizing work of World War I nurses, see Margaret R. Higonnet, “Authenticity and Art in Trauma Narratives of World War I,” Modernism/modernity 9.1 (January 2002): 96–100.
Sandra Gilbert, “Soldier’s Heart: Literary Men, Literary Women, and the Great War,” Signs 8.3 (1983): 443.
Elaine Showalter, The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture (New York: Virago, 1987), 172.
For a thorough discussion of the Angel of Mons phenomenon, including a consideration of how rumors are disseminated in wartime, see David Clarke, The Angel of Mons: Phantom Soldiers and Ghostly Guardians (Chichester, UK: Wiley, 2004).
For discussions of the iconography of plague, see Samuel K. Cohn, Jr., The Black Death Transformed: Disease and Culture in Early Renaissance Europe (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002); and Andrew Cunningham, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Religion, War, Famine and Death in Reformation Europe (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001).
Alfred Crosby, America’s Forgotten Pandemic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 315.
Christine M. Boeckl, Images of Plague and Pestilence: Iconography and Iconology, Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies. LIII (Kirksville, Missouri: Truman State University Press, 2000), 12, 36.
See Richard Kaye, “‘A Splendid Readiness for Death’: T.S. Eliot, the Homosexual Cult of St. Sebastian, and World War I,” Modernism/Modernity 6.2 (April 1999): 107–34.
Maureen Moran, “The Art of Looking Dangerously: Victorian Images of Martyrdom,” Victorian Literature and Culture 32.2 (2004): 478.
The poem was included in a letter to Conrad Aiken dated July 25, 1914. See Christopher Ricks, T.S. Eliot: Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909–1917 (New York and London: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1996), xl. Porter’s knowledge of “The Love Song of St. Sebastian” is unknown, although she remained a keen reader of Eliot’s poetry. In her notebooks, she records attending a reading by T. S. Eliot in 1942 when he “read some of his early poems…” See Porter, Collected Essays, 300.
Rita Felski, “Redescriptions of Female Masochism,” Minnesota Review: A Journal of Committed Writing 63.64 (Spring Summer 2005): 129 ff.
Gross notes the likely source of Eliot’s interest in St. Sebastian was Gabrielle D’Annunzio’s Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien performed in Paris in 1911. The title role of St. Sebastian was performed by Ida Rubinstein. Yet the role emphasized Rubinstein’s boyish figure and her androgynous qualities; instead of making St. Sebastian feminine; the point was to make Rubinstein masculine (and rival Oscar Wilde’s Salomé). See Harvey Gross, “The Figure of St. Sebastian,” The Southern Review 21.4 (Autumn 1985): 977–8.
Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1982), 2.
Theresa Heffernan, Post-Apocalyptic Culture: Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Twentieth-Century Novel (Toronto, Buffalo, London: University of Toronto Press, 2008), 4.
Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 93.
Frank Kermode, “Apocalypse and the Modern,” in Visions of Apocalypse: End or Rebirth? ed. Saul Friedlander (ed. & intro.), Gerald Holton (ed.), Leo Marx (ed.), Eugene Skolnikoff (ed.) (New York: Holmes, 1995), 95.
Porter also draws on Durer’s engraving of The Knight, Death and the Devil for part of her inspiration in “Pale Horse, Pale Rider.” See Jewel Spears Brooker, “Nightmare and Apocalypse in Katherine Anne Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider,” Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Cultures 62.1–2 (Winter-Spring 2009): 227–8. Another possible candidate that might have influenced Porter is John Hamilton Mortimer’s 1784 engraving “Death on a Pale Horse” owned by the British Museum. Morter’s engraving, showing only one crowned skeletal figure on a horse, brandishing a sword, actually parallels Porter’s description of the “lank greenish stranger” in her dream more closely than either of the Durer engravings do. Porter may have known of Mortimer’s engraving through Charles Baudelaire’s poem “Une gravure fantastique” (“A Fantastic Engraving”) published in Fleurs du Mal (1857).
Leon Morris, The Book of Revelation, Tyndale New Testament commentaries, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1987), 100–105.
Lodwick Hartley and George Core, Katherine Anne Porter: A Critical Symposium (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969), 13.
Joan Givner, Katherine Anne Porter: A Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), 130–6.
Kirby Farrell, Post-traumatic Culture: Injury and Interpretation in the Nineties (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), x. Porter makes a similar point in “My First Speech,” notes for a speech given before the American Women’s Club in Paris, 1934: “For some [American writers], life dates from the great war.” See Porter, Collected Essays, 436.