A Southern Vanguard

A Southern Vanguard

A Southern Vanguard

A Southern Vanguard

Excerpt

This anthology is composed of stories, poems, and critical essays offered for the John Peale Bishop Memorial Literary Prize Contest conducted between April 1 and September 15, 1945, by The Sewanee Review and Prentice-Hall, Inc. The prizes were awarded as follows: $200 to Andrew Lytle for his story, THE GUIDE; $200 to Malcolm Cowley for his essay, WILLIAM FAULKNER'S LEGEND OF THE SOUTH; and $100 to Randall Jarrell for his poem, THE MARCHEN. The judges were Gorham Munson, Editor of the Trade Book Department of Prentice-Hall, Inc., and myself, who at the time of the contest was Editor of The Sewanee Review. The winning titles and a few others which are acknowledged elsewhere in this volume, were published in The Sewanee Review. Under the conditions of the contest non-Southern writers were invited to compete for the essay prize, provided their subjects were Southern; the entrants for the fiction and poetry prizes had to be of Southern birth or identified with the Southern States by residence or by interest.

Mr. Munson and I deemed it highly appropriate that the contest be held in memory of John Peale Bishop, a Southern writer of great distinction whose literary life spanned almost exactly the period between the two great wars. Bishop was born on April 21, 1892, in Charles Town, Jefferson County, West Virginia, one of the "lost counties" of Virginia; he died on April 4, 1944 at Hyannis, Massachusetts. Elsewhere I have written a personal memoir and I will not repeat it here. Bishop's value for the Southern writer of the coming generation must first of all lie in his value for the imaginative life wherever he is read; without a certain universal interest we should not expect for his work even a sectional attention. More than any Southerner of his time he was aware of the South in relation to Europe and the North, and the tension of . . .

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