Sunday, August 21, 2005

Prof (Alan Price) found PSU Hazleton perfect


Prof found PSU Hazleton perfect
By Craig Eisenberger
The Standard-Speaker

While teaching, Price conducted literary research. Two writers stuck out in his mind during his time in college, Theodore Dreiser and Edith Wharton. Researching Wharton led him across the country and the world, looking at manuscripts and other documents.
Looking through Wharton's papers, Price came across photos of children. Now he found this odd since she divorced her husband in 1913 and had no children. "I was wondering where these kids are from," Price said. "I'm nosy and that kind of curiosity is necessary for an academic researcher."
"What I found out was that she ran a refugee organization responsible for saving thousands of people at the same time she was writing novels."
That led him to write The End of the Age of Innocence: Edith Wharton and the First World War. "I wrote about her World War I work, as a novelist but mostly as a humanitarian."
It took 20 years to get everything together and finally write the book. "The New York Times gave it a good review," Price recalled.
While other Americans were fleeing Paris because of the impending German invasion through Belgium, Wharton stayed to help the children. However, she was not alone.
"When you write big projects there is always something left over," Price said.
During his time researching Wharton's efforts to assist refuges, he came across 200 other organizations run by American women in France and Belgium, which were later consolidated by the Red Cross.
"I didn't get to talk about those organizations," he said.
The workers in France faced miserable conditions, Price said. "These were noble efforts and they are gone as if they evaporated." He feels that he may return to this topic one day.

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