The Intrusive Landscape Designer: Recreating 'The Front Yard' in Assisi
Constance Fenimore Woolson travelled through the United States first, and later reached Europe, never to come back to America again. She, just like her guide and mentor Henry James, was always looking for the picturesque, reading the due Baedeckers, and visiting the places that any cultured tourist was bound to see. "The Front Yard” owes its originality to the fact that its main character, Prudence, is the exact opposite of what the typical American tourist was, since she is not interested in the slightest in the wonderful Umbrian landscape that surrounds her abode, and finds the picturesque repugnant. Her greatest wish is to recreate the New Hampshire front yard she left behind when she came to Europe, and thus to feel at home again. Nathaniel Hawthorne and Mark Twain shared this same attitude towards ‘alterity’: they visited the Old World experiencing contempt for some of its traits and nurturing a deep longing for the American landscape with its straight lines, and right angles.
Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Edoarda Grego, "The Intrusive Landscape Designer: Recreating 'The Front Yard' in Assisi", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, VII (2000), pp. 85-105