A George P. Elliott Reader: Selected Poetry and Prose (Bread Loaf Series of Contemporary Writers)

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9780874515770: A George P. Elliott Reader: Selected Poetry and Prose (Bread Loaf Series of Contemporary Writers)

George P. Elliott, who died in 1980, is remembered both as a "writer's writer"--a master craftsman with an equal command of poetry and prose, fiction and nonfiction--and as a gifted and dedicated teacher, one of the architects of the Syracuse University graduate writing program. The Bread Loaf Series of Contemporary Writers introduces a new generation of readers and students to this versatile man of letters.
Collecting short stories, essays, and the long narrative poem "Fever and Chills," this Reader reveals the range of Elliott's talents and his seemingly effortless command of the written word. The smooth, realistic style of his short stories enhances the emotional resonance of such pieces as "Hymn of Angels," or contrasts with the caustic satire of others, such as the darkly Orwellian "The N.R.A.C.P." His clear and elegant essays are constructed of incisive judgments and carefully considered opinions, founded on his sense of literature as a dynamic force, a mystery to be experienced, shared, and discussed. Among the pieces presented here is the previously uncollected "Snarls of Beauty," one of Elliott's strongest and most characteristic essays.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Despite a distinguished writing career, Elliott (1918-1960) has fallen into undeserved obscurity. This anthology highlights his short fiction and essays and also includes a 20-page narrative poem, which is by far the weakest link in the book. Each of the eight stories, however, is quiet, mysterious and powerful. Two follow explorers' voyages into uncharted territories inhabited by unknown peoples: "Faq' " has a mythic feel; its strange resonance approaches that of a Borges tale. In "Among the Dangs" the narrator's acceptance of Western rationality is challenged by the beliefs of an indigenous Andean tribe. Other stories take place in the America of the 1950s and '60s. Perhaps most notable among them is "An Hour of Last Things," in which a quintessentially uptight WASP succumbs to an unexpected passion when she falls in love with a young female contralto. The essays are uneven--Elliott's political and literary critical views range from old-fashioned to politically incorrect--but they are almost always engaging, his prose controlled and memorable. This is an extremely rewarding reintroduction of Elliott's work to contemporary readers.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Intended to introduce Elliott (1918-80) to a new generation of readers, this volume collects the cream of his fiction, essays, and poems. Elliott is often considered a "writer's writer" because of his abilities in diverse genres, and his work is unified by stylistic elegance and a sense of moral engagement. "In fiction, the point of view that matters most . . . is the author's sense of values" he says in "The Novelist as Meddler," a dictum that could apply to all his work. A characteristic theme, most fully explored in stories like "the NRACP" and "Among the Dangs," is the moral alienation of the individual in a complex, bureaucratic society. The essays, meanwhile, range from vigorous assertions of his literary values to eloquent and sensible arguments against pornography and nihilism. Recommended for larger public and academic library literature collections.
- Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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George P. Elliott
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