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Katherine Anne Porter: Conversations

Katherine Anne Porter: Conversations

by Joan Givner (Editor), Katherine Anne Porter

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Interviews with the author of Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Flowering Judas, and The Leaning Tower.


Interviews with the author of Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Flowering Judas, and The Leaning Tower.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These ``conversations'' provide contrasting glimpses of two important literary women. O'Connor is represented by 22 pieces published between 1952 and 1975, ranging from puffs in the Georgia press to deeper analysis by Granville Hicks. In all, O'Connor is remarkably consistent. Often physically confined by lupus, she was unrestricted in her meditations on aesthetics; what impresses here is her articulate yet concise elucidation of subtle philosophical stands, startlingly leavened with a wicked wit. Her reserve and modesty seem to puzzle many interviewers, though all are impressed with her talent and firm sense of herself as a writer. Porter, on the other hand, was a cosmopolitan charmer who didn't hesitate to embellish her biography (in her imagination she descended from Southern gentility rather than her poor Texas farm family). She alternated between the persona of Southern belle and the self-assured, experienced artist she was. The 24 selections, ranging from a profile as a young teacher in 1916 to a birthday celebration six decades later, reflect her long career. She is at her best in a Wesleyan College panel in which O'Connor also participated (printed in both volumes). While these ``conversations'' cannot be trusted for biographical research, they provide rewarding insights for students of literature. Recommended especially for undergraduate collections.Starr E. Smith, Georgetown Univ. Lib., Washington, D.C.

Product Details

University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
Literary Conversations Series
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)

Read an Excerpt

She met Hemingway once, she says, in Shakespeareand Co., the Paris bookstore owned by Sylvia Beach. Miss Beach grasped the hand of each-Hemingway imposing and dramatic in rainy trenchcoat-and said: "I want the two best modern American writers to know each other." The phone rang, Miss Beach ducked out for a moment. "Hemingway and I stood and gazed unwinkingly at each other with poker faces for all of ten seconds, in silence. Hemingway then turned in one wide swing and hurled himself into the rainy darkness as he had hurled himself out of it, and that was all. I am sorry if you are disappointed. All personal lack of sympathy and attraction aside, and they were real in us both, it must have been galling to this most famous young man to have his name pronounced in the same breath as a writer with someone he had never heard of, and a woman at that. I nearly felt sorry for him," Miss Porter recalls...

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