Dover and the Yarp have a complex relationship to history and place because both are characterized, literally and figuratively, as outsiders.
In turn, a text such as "Evening of the Yarp" reveals its considerable utility in current critical debates about the conceptual status, and political implications, of the so-called post-South.
Recalling the Yarp's diagnosis of "whats wrong" in the mountains, Royce confesses "I have lately thought about my birthplace, St.
"Evening of the Yarp" raises the possibility that proliferating representations of reality serve to obscure what is really there, captured in the image of tales physically piling up in the mountains.
In this same way, Dover's story must contend with a local storytelling tradition which remains very much alive: the "Yarp" tales of his grandfather, peers, neighbors, Don Nini, Gene James, and crucially, Deacon Charles, as well as the many other voices and anecdotes that are co-opted into his narrative.
Gene James was only fifth or eighth on what he'd seen true, at eighty or more" ("Yarp" 99).
He wants to see it quick cause I seen the Yarp" (91).
This tension is dramatized throughout the story, played out in the gaps between such self-contradictory proclamations as "This Im getting xactly I think" (101) and "I cant hope to repeat [it]" (100), or "I seen the Yarp. <i>Or somebody like him</i> (91; emphasis added).
It is possible that the Yarp's eloquent lexis is meant to contrast with elements of Dover's pained, misspelt, and grammatically incorrect narrative: "Before this night is over I will be with her" (98); "Roonswent Dover, son of Grady and Miriam" (93); "Its over for her now.
In telling his tale, Dover contests the Yarp's recommendation to practice being dumb.
The vertiginous experience of reading for authenticity in "Evening of the Yarp" alerts us to the fundamental ways in which Dover's account is really nothing more than a convincing aesthetic simulation of conversational immediacy or mimetic truthfulness.
Dover's fantastical report of the "Evening of the Yarp" wants, like the young author-narrator of Hannah's <i>Boomerang</i>, to "make something happen in vacant air [that is] a sweet revenge on reality" (17)--and it intends to parade, self-consciously, the artificial ways in which it enacts and therefore constitutes a paradigmatic sense of its own credibility, despite or perhaps even because of this.