Eudora Welty: Two Pictures at Once in Her Frame

By Barbara Harrell Carson | Go to book overview

Notes
1
See, for example, "Briefly Noted Fiction," The New Yorker, XVIII ( October 24, 1942), 82; Alfred Kazin, "An Enchanted World in America," New York Herald Tribune Books, October 25, 1942, p. 19; Nathan Rothman, "The Lost Realm," The Saturday Review of Literature, XXV ( November 14, 1942), 16; Lionel Trilling, "American Fairy Tale," The Nation, CLV ( December 19, 1942), 686-87; Katherine Gauss Jackson, "In Brief: Fiction," Harper's Magazine, CLXXXVI ( December 1942), n.p.
2
Kreyling, pp. 32-51. Floyd C. Watkins also focuses on "the doubleness of wonder and reality, fairy tale and novel," as well as the blend of "joy and violence" which he believes "coexisted in the spirit and adventures of the time" in which The Robber Bridegroom is set ( "Eudora Welty's Natchez Trace in the New World," The Southern Review, 22 [ October 19861, 709-10). Cf. Eunice Glenn, "Fantasy in the Fiction of Eudora Welty," A Southern Vanguard, ed. Allen Tate ( New York: Prentice-Hall, 1947), pp. 78-91. Glenn sees in the "dualistic nature" of Jamie Lockhart "the conflict between idealism and realism, the neuroses that result from modern man's inability to attain his ideals. . . . The convincing force of the story is in the juxtaposition of the rough-and- tumble and grotesque life in the wilderness with the conventional, the real; and the harmonizing of the two." For other discussions of the general theme of doubleness in The Robber Bridegroom, see Bryant, Eudora Welty, pp. 18-20; Gordon E. Slethaug , "Initiation in Eudora Welty's The Robber Bridegroom," Southern Humanities Review, 7 (Winter 1973), 77-87; and French, "'All Things are Double': Eudora Welty as a Civilized Writer" in Prenshaw, ed., Eudora Welty: Critical Essays, pp. 179-88.
3
Marilyn Arnold makes a number of similar points, analyzing The Robber Bridegroom as "a parody of the fairy tale" in Eudora Welty's Parody, Notes on Mississippi Writers, 11 (Spring 1978), 15-22; rpt. in Turner and Emling, eds. Critical Essays on Eudora Welty, pp. 32-38. Ruth Vande Kieft says that The Robber Bridegroom "reveals the child's unabashed delight in the world of fantasy and legendary history, but in its hints of satire . . . we see the adult's critical intelligence" ( 1962, p. 86).
4
Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1978), p. 9.
5
The Uses of Enchantment, pp. 66, 78-83. This is not, of course, to deny that fairy tales are suspended on a fabric of nightmare. As Bettelheim has reminded us, the fairy tale confronts such major existential problems as separation from loving and protecting parents, death, aging, and the limits of mortality. The serene rescue from life's horror that characterizes fairy tales is accomplished only after the characters have been taken "to the very edge of the abyss" ( Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment, 8, 11, et passim; Bruno Bettelheim , "Fairy Tales as Ways of Knowing" in Fairy Tales as Ways of Knowing: Essays on Märchen in Psychology, Society, and Literature, ed. Michael M. Metzger and Katharina Mommsen [Bem: Peter Lang, 19811, pp. 11-12).
6
In its exploration of life's complexity, Welty's story is closer to the literary fairy tale (Kunstmärchen) than to the Grimms' Volkmärchen. Lawrence O. Frye has pointed out in "Making a Märchen: The Trying Test of Romantic Art, Magic, and Imagination" that Kunstmärchen tend to attribute a dualistic structure to the world ( Frye uses "dualistic" to refer to a state of coex-

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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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