Killing Mister Watson Summary
Matthiessen's persistent concern with a primitive landscape bearing the incursion of white "civilization" is represented in Killing Mister Watson. However, instead of displacing this fundamental conflict to South America or the Caribbean, Matthiessen sets it in America, on the west coast of the Florida Everglades. It is here, among the "dark mangrove walls closing out the world, with the empty Everglades to eastward where the sun rose, and that empty Gulf out to the west where the sun set, the silence and miskeeters and the loneliness," that Matthiessen locates his chronicle of the life and death of Edgar J. Watson — farmer, businessman, and outlaw gunman.
Matthiessen has at times been criticized for his tendency to posit the superiority of the primitive over the civilized, but in Killing Mister Watson there is no "primitive" who receives unalloyed praise. These "frontiersmen" of the Everglades are themselves hanging on...
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The Killing Mister Watson Study Pack contains:
Killing Mister Watson Short Guide
Peter Matthiessen Biographies (5)
3,863 words, approx. 13 pages
Peter Matthiessen is widely considered one of the most important wilderness writers of the twentieth century. In fiction and nonfiction alike, he explores endangered natural environments and human cul...
5,044 words, approx. 17 pages
Peter Matthiessen was born on May 22, 1927, in New York City to Elizabeth Carey and Erard Matthiessen. "I am a New Yorker by birth, not inclination; I have never remained there very long."My formative...
3,151 words, approx. 11 pages
Peter Matthiessen's increasingly substantial reputation as a novelist rests firmly on two remarkable books. Although he wrote three promising early novels, his two best-known works of fiction are sure...
7,164 words, approx. 24 pages
Peter Matthiessen is among a handful of American authors to be nominated for the National Book Award in both fiction and nonfiction--for the novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1965) and the trav...
4,086 words, approx. 14 pages
While Peter Matthiessen's publications include several well-received novels, his reputation as a writer rests largely on his nonfiction nature books, which passionately yet scientifically document the...