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One Writer's Beginnings

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2005

    An Interesting Look Into the Development of a Writer

    Eudora Welty's novel is a great read for anyone interested in the development of one of America¿s brilliant female writers. Welty¿s novel¿considered ¿part memoir, part essay, and part autobiography¿¿details the factors that influenced Welty to become an author, from her touching account of her mother reading to her as a small child to her love of diction. The novel is separated into three chapters, titled ¿Listening.¿ ¿Learning to See,¿ and ¿Finding a Voice.¿ Each chapter reveals bits of information that the reader can piece together to complete the puzzle of Welty¿s development as a writer; moreover, each chapter emphasizes Eudora Welty¿s belief that a successful author nurtures his or her creativity by building on past experiences and the wisdom of those geniuses who preceded him or her. As an extra treat, Welty includes insightful, witty aphorisms in her novel (¿A good snapshot stopped a moment from running away,¿) that amuse and challenge the reader. Eudora Welty presents an excellent novel that combines the elements of a memoir, an essay, and an autobiography perfectly to create an explanation of her development as a writer and give encouragement to budding writers, ¿[f]or all serious daring starts from within.¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2005

    One Writer's Beginnings

    Although I found the book to be rather boring, it taught me the value of family felt by the people of the early to mid 1900's. However, I felt that the text was too boring to be dragged so much, and it lost my attention early on. Welty believes that she 'became a wit and humorist (79)[,]' and also claims to be a humorous fictional writer. I have yet to read any of her other works, but do not see how she would be capable of writing 'humorous' fiction. However, her establishment of herself as a writer was impressive, beginning with her early childhood reading. The author does good in acknowledging her parents' role as well as her environment's role in her becoming a writer. But, I still would not regard this book as one of my favorites.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2005

    Great Insight but...

    I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the topics and ideas discussed and explored in this book. Eudora Welty¿s ability to describe to the reader how and why she has pursued writing is amazing. She employs a collection of personal stories from the past, as well as imagery, and past experiences to do so. She offers helpful hints to other writers through her experiences in the past. ¿[W]hen I reached my twenties [that] I found the world out there revealing, because (as with my father now) memory had become attached to seeing, love and added itself to discovery.¿ Welty¿s combination of autobiographical information, helpful hints for writers, and feelings and ideas are wonderfully insightful and entertaining at times; however, the construction and organization of the novel was not pleasing to me whatsoever. The chapters were so long and encompassed so much information, that at times the tone shifts between paragraphs were distractingly blatant, especially without proper transitions. Also, many family members were introduced and discussed simultaneously, and it was impossible to keep track of them all. I also felt as though the book followed no specific order. She spoke of the deaths of family members and then spoke of them as alive again. The disorganized and choppy construction of the novel greatly detracted from its many great qualities.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2005

    Valiant Effort Leads to Grammatical Chaos

    Though Welty makes a valiant effort to create an exciting account of her beginnings as a writer, her book simply does not deliver. This ¿stream of conscience¿ novel comes across as a mere disjointed mess of clauses, with prepositional phrases strewn about randomly (and awkwardly). On a whole, Welty¿s sentences were wordy and confusing. Many left me thinking, ¿What in the world is she trying to say?¿ The sentence, ¿It seems to me, writing of my parents now in my seventies, that I see continuities in their lives that weren¿t visible to me when they were living¿ (pg 90) was possibly the most awkward one in the book. Is she in her seventies and writing about her parents? Was she writing about the parents in their seventies? Are they in her seventies? Sadly, the grammar only got worse. This attempt at a novel was loaded with disagreeing subjects and verbs, prepositional phrases wandering aimlessly throughout the pages, and general grammatical chaos. One would think that a professional writer could consult a grammar book at least once. However, there are positive aspects to the book. Anecdotes about her childhood and family give the story personality. Her adjective and verb choices are superb and her descriptions of places and characters are like no other. Despite her horrific syntax and diction, Welty does manage to leave readers with useful advice. It is memorable phrases such as ¿to the memory nothing is ever really lost¿ (pg90) and ¿[f]or all serious daring starts from within¿ (pg 104), that make this novel worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2005

    Following in Welty's Footsteps

    I was assigned this book through my English class at my school. When I first picked up this book, I did not find it extremely entertaining. Usually, I prefer not to read autobiographies, even if it is only a partial one. However, after completing the book, I found it extremely inspiring. Eudora Welty presents a well organized book which appears to be about her personal life. 'Of course, the greatest confluence of all is that which makes up the human memory'(104) was said by Eudora Welty. The entire book focuses on Welty's ability to relate to the audience in order the allow them understand writing as she does. Eudora uses many of her childhood events to explain the way in which she writes her stories. These experiences include contacts with teachers, parents, as well as other adults in the area. They range from simple talks with her parents to life changing events, such as when a family member died. She gives insight into just a few examples of what makes up her wonderful writing. Welty uses this tactic in order to inspire other writers who want to begin working. She eliminates the need to plainly list steps for writing by clueing in her audience each step of the way. 'Listening', her first chapter reveals the first step of her writing. According to Welty, this step includes viewing other works and understanding the different types. 'Learning to See' and 'Finding a Voice' are her second and third steps. Both of these also relate her childhood life to the steps it takes to become a successful writer. The chapter names allow Eudora to list her steps, but at the same time explain them in depth. Eudora Welty's story would be extremely helpful for anyone looking to begin a career in writing. Rather than plainly listing steps throughout her chapters, she shows examples and subtly informs upcoming authors how to become successful like her. Eudora's book is informative and enlightening. She keeps her audience interested by her extremely descriptive words and lively adjectives throughout the entire book. I would recommend this to any aspiring new writer; however, I would not recommend this book for simple pleasure reading unless you like to read autobiographies.

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