Bob, or Man on Boat by Peter Markus

By Peter Markus

“Markus has a striking skill to strip existence right down to its fundamentals, to the purpose the place the metaphors we manufacture because the looking-glass for our life prove status in for lifestyles itself. Fish, dust, evening and river come to face rather than kinfolk connections as fathers and sons, via giving themselves to fishing provide themselves over to a lone seek and to loss.”—Brian Evenson, writer of The Open Curtain

Peter Markus has released 3 tale collections and lives in Michigan.

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The Dronkennes and violency of the Spaniards. The anger of the Britaines. " 10 As reified as these traits are, however, the cosmogeny also shows an important kind of flexibility common to most customs-andmanners writings. The representation of manners is the site where a collective character or "disposition" can be made interchangeable with physical traits - typical body size and facial features, skin shadings, the color of eyes and hair. In the cosmogeny, as in the versions of ethnographic reports that follow it, there is a mimetic transfer between what we would now distinguish as physical traits and cultural properties.

Like Shelley, Hawthorne does not give the "present Roman character" high praise. But what is more pertinent than the particular way he ranks the traits of diverse collective "characters" is the fact that the act of ranking makes such characters belong to categories of the same order. Italians, Yankees, Russians, and Eskimos become comparable and thus equivalent kinds of human groups, whereas writers today would be expected to distinguish between racial, ethnic, and regional identities (though the expectation carries no guarantee that such distinctions are ever real, consistent, or applicable).

But what is bad science by today's standards is in fact a rich, complex illumination of a real and efficient social praxis. Inherited, though not inherent, the idea of a race habit keeps formally open the prospect of the freedmen's transformation but closes it in practical terms, for the simple reason that any habit deemed racial will by definition carry the mark of difference. S. institutions held open the prospect of social and political development for the for- 42 The ethnography of manners merly enslaved but in practice foreclosed the prospect by enshrining in law and custom what the landmark Plessy v.

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