By H. L. Weatherby, George Core
This selection of essays dedicated to the centrality of position within the brief tales and novels of a few of the 20 th century's most famed American writers was once conceived in order to honor the lifestyles and occupation of Walter Sullivan, an writer for whom position used to be principal either in his fiction and in his serious writing. The works explored during this quantity variety from the center West realism of Fitzgerald and Powers to the desert imaginative and prescient of Faulkner and the historic and political fiction of Warren.
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Extra resources for Place in American Fiction: Excursions and Explorations
Where I lived year-round for several years. Where I still return yearly. Where I wrote more than half of my novels and collections of stories. Wrote them mostly in one particular place—at a zinc-covered worktable, set by a couple of small windows in a long, narrow boathouse, itself fixed on a rock and earthen pier, jutting out into the York River. It is a place that has been, first in my wife’s family, now in ours, for five generations. Behind the boathouse, set on a little slope, the old house (1780) faces the river, too.
They were not. Nostalgia and sentiment are not true love. No caritas there. To do their work, Faulkner and Welty and Warren and Foote and Settle and all the rest had to love the place. Deeply. Places We Have Come From, Places We Have Been 31 I doubt seriously that we will again see that kind of love shining through American writing, not exactly in the same form, anyway. We will live to see something else, something different, maybe even some things quite wonderful, but never that true, unconditional love again.
It is something like building a bridge, or creating a platform that will reach out from a recognizable substantial place into what until then has been empty air. To undergird the span as it extends into the void, the novelist needs the moral support of pilings that will help to stabilize his projection in the here and now— needs it for his own self-confidence perhaps most of all. Joyce had actually watched a friend lift himself over the iron fence at No. 7 Eccles and let himself into the house by the backdoor, just as Bloom does; but, he explained to his aunt, the man who did it was rather athletic in build, while his fictional character was not.