Logan Pearsall Smith “Ideal” Picnic (1920)

Logan Pearsall Smith “Ideal” Picnic (1920)

“The Ideal” is Logan Pearsall Smith’s satiric dream of the impossibility of an ideal English picnic. Smith conjectures that though he might be promised a perfect day for a picnic and feasting in the shade of splendid trees, “when, in the rainy...
Sarah Orne Jewett ‘s The Country of the Pointed Firs  (1896)

Sarah Orne Jewett ‘s The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896)

Jewett’s chapters “The Reunion” and “The End of the Feast” from The Country of the Pointed Firs describe Bowden picnic reunion in the fictional town of Dunnet Landing, Maine. The family sit at long tables in a grove of trees overlooking...
Philip K. Dick’s Eye in the Sky (1957)

Philip K. Dick’s Eye in the Sky (1957)

The picnic in Dick’s Eye in the Sky is characteristic of his style of mixing shifting planes of reality and illusion, laced with sardonic humor. The picnic takes when the real world collides accidentally with an alternate world it’s the result of an...
George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876)

George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876)

Daniel Deronda has two archery picnics, both of which do not meet the usual expectations of being joyous. Eliot uses sport to illustrate gender relationships. Both archery picnics are metaphors in which Gwendolyn Harleth and the other women archers are contrasted to...
Maurice Baring’s Caligula’s Picnic (1911)

Maurice Baring’s Caligula’s Picnic (1911)

Before the picnic breaks up and all the guests are drowned in the Bay of Naples, peacock and eels are served. Baring’s sense of humor is satirical and macabre. Here is one of his jokes in Caligula’s Picnic, a one-act closet drama: Proteus: I once knew a...

Thomas Rowlandson’s Hunt the Slipper, Pic-Nic Revels (1802)

Rowlandson’s Hunt the Slipper, Pic-Nic Revels satirizes the Pic-Nics, a society of Dilettanti  (amateur actors),  gamblers, and gourmands who briefly flourished 1802-3. The rules of the Society are framed on the wall: Ici on boit, on danse, on rit! Et quelquefois on...
Lennart Anderson’s Idylls (1955-2015)

Lennart Anderson’s Idylls (1955-2015)

Anderson series of Idylls are picnicky, filled with people happily dancing and singing on the grass. He called the first Bacchanal and the other Idylls. In an interview, Anderson referenced Matisse’s Luxe, Calme et Volupté as a modern arcadian idyll but does not...
D.H. Lawrence’s Aaron’s Rod (1922)

D.H. Lawrence’s Aaron’s Rod (1922)

Aaron Sissons, the protagonist of D. H. Lawrence’s Aaron’s Rod, leaves his wife and three young children to find himself. Something he never does. The “rod” is his flute, which he plays well enough to earn a modest living. It is also a pun on his sexuality and...