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"Miss Porter tends to write a story by sending the mind of a character to trouble the past, turning facts into myths and myths into mythologies; then to return, freighted and ready....In stories of this pattern, the characters are normally motionless, like statues: their memories move with their desires, but these are the only movements....In Miss Porter's best stories the past is so rich that it suffuses the present and often smothers it, and even when there is nothing more there is enough. But this means that her characters are utterly dependent upon the past for their development."
Denis Donoghue, New York Review of Books, 11/11/65Review:
"Miss Porter's singularity as a writer is in her truthful explorations of a complete consciousness of life. Her prose is severe and exact; her ironies are subtle but hard. If she is arbitrary it is becasue she identifies a conservative with a classical view of human nature....Her power to make a landscape, a room, a group of people, thinkingly alive is not the vague, brutal talent of the post-Hemingway reporter but belongs to the explicit Jamesian period and suggests the whole rather than the surface of a life....She is an important writer in the genre because she solves the essential problem: how to satisfy exhaustively in writing briefly."
V. S. Pritchett, New Statesman, 1/10/1964
Porter, Katherine Anne
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