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Fighting the Current: The Life and Work of Evelyn Scott
     

Fighting the Current: The Life and Work of Evelyn Scott

by Mary Wheeling White, Fred Hobson (Editor)
 
All but forgotten by the time of her death, Evelyn Scott (1893-1963) was one of the most active, creative minds among the American modernists. She is best known for her autobiography ESCAPADE (1923), a shocking first novel, THE NARROW HOUSE (1921), and an acclaimed Civil War book, THE WAVE (1929). Here Mary Wheeling White gives Scott's life and writing the recognition

Overview

All but forgotten by the time of her death, Evelyn Scott (1893-1963) was one of the most active, creative minds among the American modernists. She is best known for her autobiography ESCAPADE (1923), a shocking first novel, THE NARROW HOUSE (1921), and an acclaimed Civil War book, THE WAVE (1929). Here Mary Wheeling White gives Scott's life and writing the recognition they deserve. 8 photos.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Faulkner, when asked what he thought of female novelists, remarked that fellow Southerner Evelyn Scott was "pretty good for a woman." White, who teaches English at Methodist College in Fayetteville, N.C., argues that Scott has been unfairly left out of the modernist cannon, but unfortunately, she offers far more detail on the "current" Scott foughtvarious illnesses, clashes with the male publishing world, financial troublesthan on why her work should be revived. Scott wrote historical novels on the Civil War and the French Revolution, as well as more autobiographical poetry and fiction like Escapade, describing her early elopement to Brazil. After stays in Brazil and Europe, Scott returned to New York's burgeoning art scene, where she encountered Theodore Dreiser and a new Marxist literary scene, represented here as another obstacle to her individualistic style and desire for free expression. When White does consider Scott's writing, it is usually in an over-eager attempt to make her a modernist. About a 1927 novel that ends abruptly, White writes, "it is precisely this lack of `completeness' that declares the relevance of such a modernist work as Migrations," but later admits that the precipitate end might simply have been because Scott was planning another volume in the series, which she did, in fact, write. Luckily, Scott's vitality comes out in her letters, and the inclusion of many excerpts from her vigorous correspondence with other artists and intellectuals helps to illustrate Scott's own position on her condition and her writing. (Jan.)
Library Journal
White's biography, a respectable addition to the field of feminist literary criticism, helps place Southern writer Evelyn Scott (1893-1963) among the ranks of notable, rediscovered American modernists. Despite the success of Scott's early novels, The Narrow House (1921) and The Wave (1929), a best-selling fictionalization of the Civil War, Scott's unconventional narrative techniques, shocking depictions, criticism of social conventions, and personal shortcomings (debts, addictions, and psychosis) led to her professional demise. White (Methodist Coll.) traces Scott's self-destructive lifestyle while providing a critical overview of her major works in the context of their times. Her thorough reexamination of the contributions of this demanding, slighted writer adds an important dimension to the history of 20th-century American literature. Recommended for academic collections in modern literature, Southern culture, and women's studies.Carol Ann McAllister, Coll. of William & Mary Lib., Williamsburg, Va.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807122013
Publisher:
Louisiana State University Press
Publication date:
01/01/1998
Series:
Southern Literary Studies
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.83(h) x 0.95(d)

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