Katherine Anne Porter: Collected Stories & Other Writings (Anglais) Relié – 18 septembre 2008
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THE COLLECTED STORIES OF KATHERINE ANNE PORTER
Go Little Book
Flowering Judas and Other Stories
The Jilting of Granny Weatherall
The Cracked Looking-Glass
Pale Horse, Pale Rider
Pale Horse, Pale Rider
The Leaning Tower and Other Stories
The Old Order
The Last Leaf
The Fig Tree
The Downward Path to Wisdom
A Day's Work
The Leaning Tower
ESSAYS, REVIEWS, AND OTHER WRITINGS
"I needed both . . ."
The Days Before
Reflections on Willa Cather
A Note on The Troll Garden
Gertrude Stein: Three Views
"Everybody Is a Real One"
The Wooden Umbrella
"It Is Hard to Stand in the Middle"
Eudora Welty and A Curtain of Green
The Wingèd Skull
On a Criticism of Thomas Hardy
E. M. Forster
D. H. Lawrence
A Wreath for the Gamekeeper
"The Laughing Heat of the Sun"
The Art of Katherine Mansfield
The Hundredth Role
"A death of days . . ."
"A fever chart . . ."
"In the morning of the poet . . ."
A Most Lively Genius
Orpheus in Purgatory
Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939)
James Joyce (1882-1941)
Sylvia Beach (1887-1962)
Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964)
Personal and Particular
My First Speech
"I must write from memory . . ."
No Plot, My Dear, No Story
"Writing cannot be taught . . ."
The Situation of the Writer
The Situation in American Writing
The International Exchange of Writers
The Author on Her Work
No Masters or Teachers
On "Flowering Judas"
"The only reality . . ."
"Noon Wine": The Sources
Notes on the Texas I Remember
Portrait: Old South
A Christmas Story
Audubon's Happy Land
The Flower of Flowers
A Note on Pierre-Joseph Redouté
A House of My Own
The Necessary Enemy
"Marriage Is Belonging"
A Defense of Circe
St. Augustine and the Bullfight
Act of Faith: 4 July 1942
The Future Is Now
The Never-Ending Wrong
Why I Write About Mexico
Reports from Mexico City, 1920-1922
The New Man and the New Order
The Fiesta of Guadalupe
The Funeral of General Benjamín Hill
Children of Xochitl
The Mexican Trinity
Where Presidents Have No Friends
In a Mexican Patio
Leaving the Petate
The Charmed Life
Sor Juana: A Portrait of the Poet
Notes on the Life and Death of a Hero
A Mexican Chronicle, 1920-1943
Blasco Ibanez on "Mexico in Revolution"
Paternalism and the Mexican Problem
¡Ay, Que Chamaco!
Old Gods and New Messiahs
These Pictures Must Be Seen
Rivera's Personal Revolution
Parvenu . . .
History on the Wing
Thirty Long Years of Revolution
About the Author
The Land That Is Nowhere
Reprinted is Porter's beautiful tribute to Willa Cather, as well as her famous caricature of Gertrude Stein. Both essays reveal as much about Porter herself, and her passionate convictions, as their intended subjects. Whether in praise or damnation, Porter's comments about literature, morality, politics, aesthetics, and the role of the artist in society are illuminating of their particular time and place. They are also timeless and thought provoking, even disturbing and downright jolting. Every epoch has its peculiar preoccupations, which can become timeless works of art or distortions of what it means to be human. In the Cather essay, Porter discusses the preoccupation with experimentation of early literary modernism, then deftly segues into the horrific medical experiments carried out by Nazi Germany. This is classic Porter--the limitless, unfettered human spirit she so admired, as personified by Willa Cather, juxtaposed with the flip side of the coin, the sinister aspects of human nature. It is precisely these explorations that are the hallmarks of her fiction, and it's no wonder that critics and readers alike continue to marvel at the depths she was able to penetrate in relatively short space. In that aspect she is all but peerless.
Every line written by Katherine Anne Porter testifies to her striking originality. Porter's influences were diverse, but the final distillation of those influences resulted in a voice that is uniquely her own and bears no resemblance to any other master. And "master" she was, triumphantly so. Robert Penn Warren's assertion that her best work is unsurpassed in modern literature holds true as much today as when he first proffered the remark, nearly seventy years ago.
KAP's 1982 biographer, Joan Givner, complained that Porter's stories were being supplanted in anthologies by current favorites that were often inferior to Porter's work. Hopefully, this volume will help rectify what Givner rightly called "an error in judgment." Personal tastes may vary, but no one can objectively say that any other short story master surpassed Katherine Anne Porter. Only the absolutely finest story writers, past and present, are her equals. The 1,100 pages of this Library of America edition--released on the 28th anniversary of Porter's death--amount to a literary treasure. In fact, a national treasure.
This one-volume collection, edited by Porter biographer Darlene Unrue, includes all of Porter's short stories (including the three that Porter herself preferred to call "short novels") and eighty nonfiction pieces, most of which have been out-of-print for years. Of particular interest among the nonfiction pieces selected for this volume by Unrue are two previously unpublished autobiographical essays written in 1933 and 1974 in which Porter discusses her early life and the influences on her writing. And, of course, readers searching for more information about Porter's long life and career will appreciate the 21-page "Chronology" placed at the end of this 1100-page book that details her ninety-year lifetime.
Porter was often a critic of her times, but she took her criticism a step or two further by her general criticism of society and even of human nature itself. She was most certainly a keen observer of people, and some of her best stories are the often deceptively simple ones that focus on the unique relationship between husbands and wives. These are largely conversational presentations that clearly illustrate just how much is left unsaid in a marriage, stories in which real feelings are shown inside the heads of her main characters but never expressed out loud in the long conversations between husband and wife. Two particularly fine examples of this type are Porter's "Rope" and "The Cracked Looking Glass," both of which were included in her first short story collection, Flowering Judas and Other Stories.
Porter, born in Indian Creek, Texas, near San Antonio, had the familiarity and love for Mexico shared by so many Texans. Her earliest published short stories are set during the Mexican Revolution years between 1910 and 1920, and her nonfiction pieces include more than two dozen essays on her love for that country and what she experienced there during such a dramatic period of its history. That Porter felt as much at home in Mexico as in Texas is obvious because of the depth to which she captured these times and Mexico's people.
The last publication of Porter's lifetime, 1977's "The Never-Ending Wrong," her reaction to the famous Sacco-Vanzetti case, is perhaps one of the most powerful pieces she ever wrote. Porter, who stood with hundreds of others outside the prison while the two were executed for their crime, admits that she could not determine for herself their actual guilt or innocence. But she makes a strong argument that their trial was one of those "in which the victim was already condemned to death before the trial took place." She likens their trial to the trials of Jesus, Joan of Arc, those tried in Salem during the infamous witchcraft trials of 1692, and those condemned to death by Stalin in his 1937 Moscow show trials.
Collected Stories and Other Writings should help solidify Katherine Anne Porter's literary reputation for generations to come, something that was becoming more and more difficult to do because so much of her work was out-of-print prior to this publication. Darlene Unrue has placed a wide range of Porter's best work in one volume, a book that will prove to be a must-have for Porter fans and an important book for anyone who appreciates the best short fiction produced in the twentieth century.