Wright Morris Territory: A Treasury of Work

Wright Morris Territory: A Treasury of Work

Wright Morris Territory: A Treasury of Work

Wright Morris Territory: A Treasury of Work

Synopsis

Best known for his novels, including the National Book Award winners The Field of Vision and Plains Song, Nebraska-born author Wright Morris has long been regarded as one of America's most gifted writers. This volume, culling work from the photo-text books, criticism, and numerous short stories frequently overlooked among his oeuvre, reflects the true breadth of this quintessentially American artist's talents. As such, it offers a fascinating overview of Morris's inspiring accomplishments in multiple genres. While embracing the prose for which Morris is justly famous, this treasury of work also highlights his photography and other literary genres, including hard-to-find stories first published in magazines, some of which were early drafts of future novels. Edited by Morris's long-time friend David Madden, this one-of-a-kind collection captures a man of multifarious genius. Replete with interviews, photography, a biographical sketch, suggestions for further reading, and Morris's inimitable writing, this compendium is an indispensable resource for those who wish to understand and appreciate the brilliance and virtuosity of one of America's true talents.

Excerpt

One senses in Wright Morris’s novels the abiding presence of his Nebraska childhood. But Morris is not “regionalist” in the narrow sense. He writes about Nebraska only as it represents conflicting extremes in the American land and character. Landscapes, houses, and inhabitants on the Great Plains become metaphors of the American Dream. “The emptiness of the plain generates illusions that require little moisture, and grow better, like tall stories, where the mind is dry.” Standing in the wasteland of the present, dreaming of a heroic past, some men and women become blighted victims of the “poison of the Great American Myth.” Bringing into focus a representative part of America, Morris seeks the meaning of the legends, myths, and realities of America as they survive and prevail today in the minds of common people.

In The Field of Vision the question is posed: Did one live on the plains in spite of the fact that the conditions were terrible? “No, one lived there because of it. Only where fools rushed in were such things as heroes bred.” These conditions, says Morris, produce . . .

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