Flash nonfiction submissions to the River Teeth weekly column, Beautiful Things, should be 250 words or less. Please submit one beautiful thing at a time, via .
The novella “A River Runs Through It” by Norman Mclean represents a quintessence of essential ideas of American Transcendentalism. In fact, the novella is focused on two different lifestyles, two philosophies which are carried out by two brothers, main characters of the novel. On the one hand, Norman has more pragmatic view and philosophy. He cannot live all his life in the wilderness. He cannot dedicate his life to fly fishing. Instead, he wants more. He studies at college, gets a good job and he considers his life as quite successful. However, as he encounter his brother, Paul, he understands that materialistic values and social standards defining the extent to which a person is successful have totally replaced the romanticism of his life in the wilderness when he did nothing but fly fishing. In such a context, Norman’s life is contrasted to Paul’s life. Paul has preserved his idealism and he is the personification of an American Transcendentalist, who scorns materialistic values and who rejects stereotypes of the dominant culture. Paul does not need a successful career, public recognition, or glory. Instead, he wants to live in harmony with nature, which constitutes an essential part. This is why he has reached such a mastership in fly fishing which still remains his principal activity. No wonder, Norman eventually uncovers the vanity of his life and all his efforts as he sees his brother at work. Thus, it is possible to interpret such an ending of the novella as the victory of transcendentalist ideals over the materialistic values of the dominant culture.
River Teeth invites submissions of creative nonfiction, including narrative reportage, essays, and memoirs, as well as critical essays that examine the emerging genre and that explore the impact of nonfiction narrative on the lives of its writers, subjects, and readers.
Larry Dark, New York, 1990. "A Writer's Landscapes," in Japanese magazine Impressions (also in Wesleyan). "Studies," in Architectural Digest, June, 1996. "River Goods," Pittsburgh History, Winter 94-95. "Hard Times in Ultima Thule," New York Times Book Review Bookends (back page)--April 20, 1997--Short essay on Holder Laxness 1946 epic, Independent People. "Advice for Young Writers," Image, No.