Mario Vargas Ilosa’s The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto (1998)

Mario Vargas Ilosa’s The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto (1998)

According to expectation, Don Rigoberto assumes a picnic is always happy. However, the hero of  Vargas Llosa’s Don Rigoberto’s Note Books stretches his imagination not to believe otherwise.   Having endured deep family and personal stress, Rigoberto, insurance...
General Slocum Picnic Disaster (1891)

General Slocum Picnic Disaster (1891)

Searching for the joy and peace of a picnic doesn’t always mean it’s attainable. One thousand congregants of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church boarded the steamship General Slocum, at its birth on the East River in lower Manhattan and died. They expected a pleasant...
D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love (1920)

D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love (1920)

See Picnicsonfilm.org for a discussion of Ken Russell’s Women in Love. “The Water Party,” Women in Love (1920), is Lawrence’s allegory of love and death that begins well and ends awfully. Ostensibly it is a company picnic, a noblesse oblige affair sponsored by...
Ted Hughes’ Iron Man (1968)

Ted Hughes’ Iron Man (1968)

Five years after Sylvia Plath’s suicide, Hughes wrote Iron Man as entertainment to help their children Frieda and Nicholas deal with their mother’s death. The story is a fantasy about a colossal Iron Man (from somewhere unknown in the universe) with an appetite for...
E. M. Forster’s Passage to India (1924)

E. M. Forster’s Passage to India (1924)

The Caves” section A Passage to India is an extended metaphor for the irreconcilability of the English and the Indians in India. The excursion to the Barabar Caves is a series of miscues, misunderstandings, and failed friendships between Dr. Aziz, Mrs. Moore,...
Joan Lindsay’s Picnic a Hanging Rock

Joan Lindsay’s Picnic a Hanging Rock

Had Lindsay not been coy, Picnic at Hanging Rock might have just been another mystery novel about two schoolgirls and a teacher who disappeared while climbing the Hanging Rock. The events and ambiance are so real that readers accepted the narrative at face value....
A.S. Byatt’s Morpho Eugenia (1992)

A.S. Byatt’s Morpho Eugenia (1992)

When flying ants fall into the strawberries, cucumber sandwiches, and the silver cream jugs, the Midsummer’s Day picnic is ruined. Everyone runs for cover. Cinematically, Angels & Insects, directed by Philip Haas and his co-screenwriter Belinda Haas is played out...