Eudora Welty: Two Pictures at Once in Her Frame

By Barbara Harrell Carson | Go to book overview

Looking back on her life, Welty discovered variations on the theme of polarity that are developed (in even greater complexity and with greater subtlety) in her fiction--not merely the coexistence of opposites, but the harmony potential in the opposition, the dynamic tension of the poles, the creativity implicit in that tension, and the recognition of wholeness that can shatter the barriers between such opposites as self and other, past and present, life and death.


Notes
1
One Writer's Beginnings ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984), p. 104. References to this work will hereafter be given in the text of this chapter.
2
"Meeting Miss Welty," The New York Times Book Review, 12 April 1970, 2, 46; rpt. in Prenshaw, ed., Conversations, p. 33.
3
Berman, p. 36.
4
Carolyn Heilbrun criticizes One Writer's Beginnings for falling into "the old genre of female autobiography, which tends to find beauty even in pain and to transform rage into spiritual acceptance" ( Writing a Woman's Life [ New York: W. W. Norton, 1988], p. 12). For a discussion of this and other criticisms of Welty's failure to challenge social injustices in her work, see below, pp. 25-26.
5
For a perceptive discussion of the role of anger in Laurel's accession to wholeness in The Optimist's Daughter, see Helen Hurt Tiegreen, "Mothers, Daughters, and One Writer's Revisions" in Devlin, ed., Welty: A Life in Literature, pp. 188-211.
6
The Eye of the Story: Selected Essays and Reviews ( New York: Random House, 1978), pp. 149-51.
7
The Optimist's Daughter ( New York: Random House, 1972), p. 140.
8
The phrase is Benjamin G. Lockerd Jr., in The Sacred Marriage: Psychic Integration in 'The Faerie Queen' (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1987), pp. 23, 33, 25.
9
"I'm crazy about that word," Welty exclaimed in a 1978 interview with Martha van Noppen ( "A Conversation with Eudora Welty," in Prenshaw, ed., Conversations, p. 242).
10
Cited in Paul Davies, Other Worlds: Space, Superspace and the Quantum Universe ( London: Sphere Books, 1982), p. 46.

-12-

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Eudora Welty: Two Pictures at Once in Her Frame
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction viii
  • Notes xxv
  • I- Confluence- One Writer''s Beginnings 1
  • Notes 12
  • II- Inside the Labyrinth- The Eye of the Story 13
  • Notes 27
  • III- The Tangled Bank- Stories of Initiation 29
  • Notes 48
  • IV- "The Way Home through the Wilderness"- The Robber Bridegroom 51
  • Notes 69
  • V- A Truer Thing Than Thought- Delta Wedding 72
  • Notes 97
  • VI- In the Heart of Clay- The Ponder Heart 100
  • Notes 115
  • VII- The Tie That Binds- Losing Battles 117
  • Notes 133
  • VIII- Learning to See Bridges- The Optimist''s Daughter 135
  • Afterward 156
  • Notes 157
  • Works Cited 158
  • Index 170
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