Every reading has allowed me to notice new things about Welty. Learning Latin once I was free of Caesar fed my love for words upon words, words in continuation and modification, and the beautiful, sober, accretion of a sentence. Eudora Welty was born in 1909 in Jackson, Mississippi. Welty's mother is relieved when Eudora decides to be a writer because her mother believes it is a safe occupation. I have been on a kick about classic southern authors this past year and after hearing her comments on William Faulkner and reading several of her short stories, I wanted to know more about her life. When discussing the character development, all stories present the idea that all characters realize the changes that happened to their lives. The mountains of West Virginia give Eudora Welty a taste for independence, which is an inheritance from her mother.
When her father lay there in pain and agony, she stood there watching, helpless to stop the pain. Eudora's first full-time job is at the state office of Works Progress Administration, taking photographs during the Great Depression. With my strict German background, I tend to respond literally to what I hear and see, to what I read and write. For all serious daring starts from within. This autobiographical work, which is composed of a wealth of memories largely from Welty's Mississippi childhood, works as a wonderful companion volume.
The tone of the memoir is conversational. Another moment, the discovery of two nickels preserved in a hidden box, teaches me that Miss Eudora never felt any unmixed emotion I won't tell that story, it must be read to be understood and that is why The Ponder Heart is such a landmark in Southern ficiton. They would begin whistling back and forth to each other up and down the stairwell. This book is a series of three lectures she gave at Harvard. I knew this was bliss, knew it at the time. She went into the house where the Salesman found death but she found her eyes opening — she had been shocked by the real subject of the story which was human relationships.
They are a kind of present… from Miss Welty to her audience. The lectures were published in book form by Harvard University Press in 1984. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole. I could picture myself on Miss Eudora's front porch swing as I listened to this gentle lady who had wonderful gifts of observation. Each of us children did, sooner or later, in part at least, solve this in a different, respectful, complicated way.
The three essays are entitled: Listening, Learning to See, and Finding a Voice. Homely and commonplace sights, sounds, and objects resonate with the emotions of recollection: the striking clocks, the Victrola, her orphaned father's coverless little book saved since boyhood, the tall mountains of the West Virginia back country that become a metaphor for her mother's sturdy independence, Eudora's earliest box camera that suspended a moment forever and taught her that every feeling awaits a gesture. Listening children know stories are there. I'm not a writer, but, I especially enjoyed the latter portion where she is in her 70's and remembering her parents motivations, personalities and speculates on their reasons for their actions. It often seems as if Welty includes many stories and details not because they pertain to the themes of the book, or because they necessarily influenced her as a writer, but just because she knew them. The book grew out of a series of three lectures on three different topics: Listening, seeing, and finding a voice.
Eudora Alice Welty was an award-winning American author who wrote short stories and novels about the American South. This was not written as an autobiography, but rather as 3 short speeches given at Harvard University in 1983. My heart opens as I read her memories on the page, so filled with love are they. Although she enjoys reading the Bible for herself, Eudora does not find a reverence for the holiness of life in organized religion. This has been a particularly helpful revelation for me. Harvard found the best writer in the twentieth century to perform these lectures which amount to an autobiography from birth to 30 years of age in Miss Eudora Welty.
Hence, the protagonists have to face their prejudices. Until publication of this book, she had discouraged biographical investigations. Eudora Welty attends Jefferson Davis Grammar School and borrows many books from Jackson's Carnegie Library. Exactly two months later, in Sea World Orlando, an orca known as Tilikum killed his trainer as well. My Review: The unassuming, delight-filled, unsparingly un-self-indulgent prose of Miss Eudora's fiction is surpassed in this expansion and revision of her Massey Lecture in the History of American Civilization, delivered at Harvard in 1983.
When 'Listening' begins, Welty's words set the scene immediately: 'In our house on North Congress Street in Jackson, Mississippi, where I was born, the oldest of three children, in 1909, we grew up to the striking of clocks. You can see from her description of the tree, the fact that she felt the need to photograph it, its unique beauty struck her deep in her soul. This is a joyous account, filled with depth and insight. It's always nice to see how a writer you 'know' interprets his or her past, as they look back and discover what brought them to where they are now. Her Mother and Father had fallen in love when she was teaching school in the mountains of West Virginia near her home and he had come from Ohio to West Virginia to work for a lumber construction company.
In particular, the heroes realize problem, face it, and find a logical resolution to it. Like the previous two stories, The Story of My Body is also based on personal experience where the author describes skin, color, and appearances as the parts of the body that influence social attitude. This one has three sections: Listening, Learning to See and Finding a Voice. Memory is her central theme; she writes that her memory is her greatest treasure, the place where all the events and persons of her life come together and live together outside time, as if they were the characters in her stories. On a cold bubbling spring, covered dishes and crocks and pitchers of milk and butter and so on floated in a circle in the mild whirlpool, like horses on a merry-go-round, in the water that smelled of the mint that grew close by. We ended the summer with novels and a new understanding of our own writing processes.