Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beginning with the End-- Biographer John Matteson

Joanna Scutts of the Washington Post writes about John Matteson's choice, as a biographer, to begin his new book with Fuller's death. Matteson visits UAlbany and the NYS Museum tomorrow.

"Matteson begins his story of Fuller’s 'lives' at the premature end. Along with her 1-year-old son and his Italian father, she was killed in a shipwreck off Fire Island, N.Y., during a freak hurricane in July 1850. She was 40 years old. By beginning with Fuller’s death — as he puts it, “Think first of endings” — Matteson purposely overshadows the book with a sense of loss. It works to subtly emphasize Fuller’s own most passionate and important theme, that human potential wasted by social injustice is no less a tragedy than death. Lost in the wreck was the manuscript of a book that might have transformed her legacy: her eyewitness account of the failed revolution in Rome in 1848-49." More.

Picture: Memorial marker for Margaret Fuller Ossoli, her husband, and their son. Located at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.