William Vaughn Moody: A Study

William Vaughn Moody: A Study

William Vaughn Moody: A Study

William Vaughn Moody: A Study

Excerpt

This study of the writings of William Vaughn Moody was not intended to be a biography. Moody's work was so completely his whole life, however, that a history and an analysis of his criticism, poetry, and prose drama inevitably unfold a picture of the man. His writings were inseparably joined with the environments in which he lived. At all periods of his life he was particularly sensitive to both the stimulating and the depressing influences of his association with people or places. He habitually relied for literary inspiration upon that spontaneous revelation of poetic mood or idea which frequently grows out of the contact between an appreciative and creative observer and his unusual surroundings. Accordingly, in the present work the objective facts of biography have been used extensively in the interpretation of Moody's achievement in literature.

The present project was undertaken because of my belief that William Vaughn Moody deserves a wider reputation than our generation has accorded him. Even the most conservative critic must grant that his work is worthy of a complete consideration. The need for a full-length study of Moody has been evident for some years. For my first view of this problem and for very valuable aid in obtaining certain materials, I am indebted to the generosity of Mr. Edward Davison.

I am greatly indebted, also, to Mrs. Moody who allowed me the use of collections of newspaper and periodical reviews, accounts of her husband's work, first editions of his poems and plays, and, through letters and interview, gave me many previously unrecorded facts and invaluable assistance in interpretation. I am grateful, too, for the counsel of Dr. William S. Dye, Jr., who devoted many hours to a minute examination of my manuscript.

Certain critical essays by Moody's friends have been very helpful. ProfessorRobert Morss Lovett in his introduction to Selected Poems of William Vaughn Moody, ProfessorJohn M.

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