While I was researching interesting things related to the novel, “Pale Horse Pale Rider,” I came across some articles that this novel was somehow autobiographical. It said:
“It simply divided my life, cut across it like that. So that everything before that was just getting ready, and after that I was in some strange way altered, really,” said Katherine Anne Porter about her nearly fatal encounter with the Spanish flu. “It took me a long time to go out and live in the world again.” Years later, in a thinly disguised autobiographical novel, she laid out not just her own traumatic run-in with death, the pale rider, but also a rare literary account of the 1918 flu pandemic in the United States and the unprecedented human loss.
Like the setting in the novel, Katherine Anne Porter has lived in the early 1900s. During World War I, Porter was a reporter in Denver, where she met a lieutenant, whom she fell in love with. Furthermore, “Pale Horse Pale Rider”is a short story that reflects her experience during World War I, when the dreadful Spanish flu killed about 30 million people. Porter, herself, also was diagnosed with the 1918 flu pandemic, which nearly killed her. While generally, it is important to know the author’s biography in order to enhance our understanding of the novels or writings that the author wrote, I think knowing the biography of Porter is very interesting and significant because “Pale Horse Pale Rider” is an account of her life experience in 1918. These are three short biographies of Porter, which you can take a look at. Two of them relate mention somethings about the novel itself too: Biography1, Biography2, and Biography3.
I also thought that having some knowledge on Spanish Flu is crucial too because our course is “Contagion.” 🙂 This link is an article that gives an overview of the influenza. And, here are two short video clips that you can watch about the 1918 flu pandemic:
* Alarm! The sound of the second video might get you depressed or scared, or maybe not. Personally, when I watched the second video alone in my room, the sound scared me a little bit.
p.s. I tried to embed the video, but it didn’t work. I worked for it for an hour and 30 minutes T^T and even asked Ali and Evgenija’s help, but it just doesn’t work.