Lessons from Eudora Welty … and More!

Eudora Welty fits snugly into the great tradition of southern writing. There are several aspects of her style that brand it this way, First is the preoccupation with place. Southern stories happen in a particular setting. You might call that a community of shared values. And of course, if such a thing exists, it is bound to collide with individuals who feel constrained by those shared values.  There is a sense of being trapped, in context as the norm.

BTW, Kafka took this to an extreme degree, which is why I find his stories so compelling. Poe and Borges offers ways to escape, but into a strange emptiness.

This quote from Eudora Welty’s book “One Writer’s Beginnings” gives the flavor of this tension

As you have seen, I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring comes from within.

The shelter is the community. The daring? Well,  that emerges from individual choices that we make.

BTW, this tension between the sheltered and the daring comes out very well in the 1996 film “The Whole Wide World”. here is the trailer. Enjoy!


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