Katherine Anne Porter: Collected Stories and Other Writings (Library of America #186)

Katherine Anne Porter: Collected Stories and Other Writings (Library of America #186)

Katherine Anne Porter, Darlene Harbour Unrue

Language: English

Pages: 1100

ISBN: 1598530291

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Eudora Welty said that Katherine Anne Porter ?writes stories with a power that stamps them to their very last detail on the memory.? Set in her native Texas and her beloved Mexico, prewar Nazi Germany and the gothic Old South, they are stories of love, outrage, betrayal, and spiritual reckoning that are severe but never cruel, and always exquisitely precise. They number fewer than thirty, but as Robert Penn Warren commented, ?many are unsurpassed in modern fiction,? and when gathered in one volume in 1965 they won their author both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The Library of America now reprints that landmark volume, The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, and pairs it with a completely new selection from Porter?s long-out-of-print short prose. Expanding the contents of her 1952 collection The Days Before to include both early journalism and major pieces from her final three decades, the prose works collected here are grouped in four parts: critical essays on writers she loved and learned from, including James, Cather, Lawrence, and Colette; personal essays and speeches on such topics as the craft of writing, her own work, women in myth and in history, and American politics; essays and reports on Mexican life, letters, and revolution; and two previously uncollected forays into autobiography.

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night, and sometimes even in the afternoons when Mr. Helton sat down to catch his breath. At first the Thompsons liked it very much, and always stopped to listen. Later there came a time when they were fairly sick of it, and began to wish to each other that he would learn a new one. At last they did not hear it any more, it was as natural as the sound of the wind rising in the evenings, or the cows lowing, or their own voices. Mrs. Thompson pondered now and then over Mr. Helton’s soul. He didn’t

are dangerous, if they aren’t given something to keep their little minds out of mischief. So rows of young girls, the intact cradles of the future, with their pure serious faces framed becomingly in Red Cross wimples, roll cock-eyed bandages that will never reach a base hospital, and knit sweaters that will never warm a manly chest, their minds dwelling lovingly on all the blood and mud and the next dance at the Acanthus Club for the officers of the flying corps. Keeping still and quiet will win

had been going on a great while, and all Western geniuses worth mentioning were Orientals: look at Picasso, look at Einstein. Russians are Tartars, Spaniards are Saracens—had not all great twentieth-century painting been Spanish? And her cheerful conclusion was, that “Einstein was the creative philosophic mind of the century, and I have been the creative literary mind of the century also, with the Oriental mixing with the European.” She added, as a casual afterthought, “Perhaps Europe is

as final critic and introduced with his praise, his name joined to hers on the cover. Death served to force her withheld confidences and shatter her last reserves. The stories offer a strange contrast to the portrait her husband gives of a vivid, tireless, beautiful woman whose endless good sense and ground loyalty to the man of her choice make her a model for all good women and prove that she was a writer of very slender talents. An act of conscious cruelty could never have been so subtle. “She

asks the boy. “To be loved for himself alone? It does not happen in the world.” We decide not to ride the pony. “He will have his supper anyhow,” says Mary. “He will lose nothing by it.” “What about me?” the owner wants to know. “We cannot pity you—you are a philosopher!” Michael tells him. We stop in the shade of a wide willow tree near the bank. Our boatboy seats himself crosslegged in the prow. He has the composure of a young idol, his eyes slanted and meditative. His scarlet cotton sash

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