". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, October 12, 2009

Edna Pontellier's Esplanade House

Many consider this New Orleans house on Esplanade the model for Edna Pontellier's house in Kate Chopin's The Awakening. This is the view from across Esplanade.

Here is the view from the sidewalk in front of the house.

The side street view. From around the corner you can see how extensive this house really is. As is common in so many hot climates, from the front you don't always understand how large these homes can be. This photo doesn't show all it either.

Across this side street is what was an antebellum slave market (before Edna Pontellier's time, of course); these are the barracoons, where the slaves were 'stored.' After slavery these barracks were turned into housing for the house servants that cared for these magnificent homes. Now they're apartments, or vacant space. Note there's none of the sweet-smelling, shade-giving, ornamental gardens and vegetation that surrounds the Esplanade houses, which were built by the wealthy creole class.


K. said...

Great pix! Citizen K. just may have to link to these!

Foxessa said...

Feel free!

I love this connection to 'literary' New Orleans. It's such a wonder that these connections are still existant, and are still lived in.

But that is the foundation of what makes New Orleans what it is. The past remains alive, and in use.

Love, C.