Emigrant, Human, Wilderness
In the spring of 1978, Arizona Quarterly published what
was to be the last of Sophus Keith Winther's scholarly
articles. Entitled, "The Emigrant Theme," this essay in many
ways was a summation of Winther's thoughts, not only regarding
the experience of Scandinavian-Americans as told in
literature, but more importantly of his reflections regarding
the whole of human experience. For him, emigration was the
great human story, stretching from the dawn of humankind
in the Olduvai Gorge to a foreboding present. It was the
story of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness; it was the
myth of the American westward movement. For Winther
writing in 1978, however, emigration was no longer
possible; the physical and psychological opportunities
offered by the vision of a promised land across oceans and
beyond mountains were no more. Over-population,
environmental pollution, and the threat of nuclear holocaust
promised a global "ragnarok". The human journey was fast
approaching an end.
Nielsen, John M.
"To Have Revenge On The Self-Righteous University: Pietism And Religious Doubt In Sophus Keith Winther's Beyond The Garden State,"
The Bridge: Vol. 17:
2, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/thebridge/vol17/iss2/7