Goyen: Autobiographical Essays, Notebooks, Evocations, Interviews

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William Goyen (1915-1983) was an American original, acclaimed nationally and internationally, and one of the most important writers ever to be associated with the regional culture and literary history of Texas. Called "one of the great American writers of short fiction" by the New York Times Book Review, Goyen also authored the novels The House of Breath, In a Farther Country, Come, the Restorer, and Arcadio, as well as plays, poetry, and nonfiction. His literary works manifest an intimate intensity of feeling ...

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Overview

William Goyen (1915-1983) was an American original, acclaimed nationally and internationally, and one of the most important writers ever to be associated with the regional culture and literary history of Texas. Called "one of the great American writers of short fiction" by the New York Times Book Review, Goyen also authored the novels The House of Breath, In a Farther Country, Come, the Restorer, and Arcadio, as well as plays, poetry, and nonfiction. His literary works manifest an intimate intensity of feeling and an inimitable tone of voice, reflecting Goyen's lifelong desire to create art that was at once a spiritual quest for universal truths and an evocation of the rhythms of speech and storytelling of his native East Texas.

This volume contains all of the uncollected autobiographical writings of William Goyen, including essays previously published in American periodicals and literary journals; interviews published in Paris Review, TriQuarterly, and the French magazine Masques; and previously unpublished materials drawn from Goyen's papers in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The writings span Goyen's entire adult life, from youthful journals to autobiographical sketches to his long sketch for an autobiographical book, Six Women, which profiles women whom Goyen felt had influenced him deeply: Frieda Lawrence, Dorothy Brett, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Margo Jones, Millicent Rogers, and Katherine Anne Porter. The volume also contains late essays on growing up in Houston, writing from life, and illness and recovery.

Whilemost of William Goyen's work was autobiographical, writing a traditional autobiography proved to be inimical to his artistic sensibility and style. Thus, the pieces collected in Goyen constitute the most complete autobiography that we will ever have from this highly regarded writer.

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Product Details

Table of Contents


Introduction   Reginald Gibbons     xi
Autobiographical Essays     1
The Belleek Swan     3
An Autobiographical Work: "Six Women" [propectus]     8
Frieda     10
Brett     18
Mabel     22
Margo     24
Millicent     29
At Lady A's     32
While You Were Away (Houston Seen and Unseen, 1923-1978)     39
Two Last Lectures     53
Autobiography in Fiction     53
Recovering     63
Three Interviews     71
The Paris Review     73
Masques     103
TriQuarterly     110
Evocations     141
Early Evocations     143
Notebook Entries     143
A Crossing     159
Where Are We Traveling?     161
Some Children and Teachers     164
Late Evocations     169
I Spent All My Time in Texas...     169
Dear George: The Salt? The Wrath? The Salvation?     170
Notebook Entries     172
Epilogue: On Francis Mockel's Etching "Suite funebre I"     183
Chronology     185
Index     189
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