Harvard University in Absalom, Absalom! (Location)

Location Key: 
Display Label: 
Harvard University
Type: 
OutOfYoknapatawpha
Authority : 
Text (when unambiguous)
X: 
2571
Y: 
831
Description: 

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard is the oldest university in the U.S. The last four chapters of the novel are set, formally, in the dorm rooms that Quentin Compson and Shreve McCannon occupy as Harvard freshmen. Few details about the setting are provided, but as the site of Quentin and Shreve's sustained attempt to reconstruct the story of Thomas Sutpen, it is introduced as a kind of antithesis to Mississippi: "this strange room, across this strange iron New England snow" (141). Their dorm room is later described as a "warm and rosy orifice above the iron quad" (176). The narrative also calls it "this dreamy and heatless alcove of what we call the best of thought" (208) and "dedicated to the best of ratiocination" (225) - though readers have to decide for themselves how much irony might lurk in those assertions.

Role: 
Site of Event
Status: 
Continuous

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