- Users’ Guide:A Word from the Editor
It has become a tradition to toast “our absent friends” as Eudora Welty taught many of us, and this year, we remember three great men significant in the life and studies of Eudora Welty: W. U. McDonald, Jr., who founded the Eudora Welty Newsletter in 1977; Timothy Seldes, Welty’s agent who bought Russell and Volkening, Inc., in 1972; and William Jay Smith, the extraordinary poet who met Welty in Italy in 1950 and became a lifelong friend. Suzanne Marrs and I offer brief tributes to these three in an effort to illustrate appreciation for their leadership, generosity, and gentlemanliness.
During the 2015 Eudora Welty Biennial, working in the Eudora Welty Collection at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, I found manuscript and typescript pages of two unpublished book reviews prepared by Eudora Welty. The first, of the 1979 reprint of Elizabeth Bowen’s Bowen’s Court, is published here with an introductory essay by Sarah Dyne. The second, of the Library of America’s William Faulkner: Novels 1930–1935 (As I Lay Dying, Sanctuary, Light in August, and Pylon), exists as forty-four pieces of manuscript notes. From her years of working with Welty’s archives and letters, Suzanne Marrs advised me that Welty’s notes would be best appreciated within a contextualizing essay.
Also in this issue, EWR publishes three essay contributions to Welty studies. Cliff Hudder, a Texas novelist, presents a new reading of “A Curtain of Green.” Walker Percy biographer, Patrick Samway, S. J., provides a fascinating record of Welty’s work with Robert Giroux, her Harcourt Brace editor from 1949–1955. William Murray provides insights into Welty’s 1960s stories. (Check the EWR website in regard to “Where Is the Voice Coming From?” to read “All Hope Abandon Here,” a first-hand account of meeting Byron de La Beckwith in 1967 by Robert Brennan when he was the Southern Regional CBS News Bureau Chief.)
Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald, edited by Suzanne Marrs and Tom Nolan, biographers of Welty and Macdonald, respectively, met with acclaim from all readers. The collection was a finalist for an Edgar Award in the biography category. Marrs and others surmise how pleased Welty would have been, noting that she won the 1985 Raven Mystery Reader Award. Welty scholar Michael Kreyling (The Achievement of Eudora Welty, Author and Agent, Understanding Eudora [End Page ix] Welty) and author of The Novels of Ross Macdonald gives additional insight regarding Welty and Ken Millar’s relationship in his review of Meanwhile There Are Letters. An interview with Marrs about the collaborative work involved in the editing Meanwhile There Are Letters follows Kreyling’s review.
A preview of Practical Matters—one might call these reports “News and Notes”—illustrates the growing appreciation and understanding of Welty’s life and achievements. The Eudora Welty Foundation works in excellent accord with the state of Mississippi that governs the Welty House and Garden and the Welty Collection and with Welty scholars and the public—the readers who are all-important for keeping an author’s work significant today and in the future. Two results of these congenial collaborations are the Eudora Welty Biennial envisioned and directed by David Kaplan and the Eudora Welty Research Fellowship, which gives young developing scholars opportunities to conduct research at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH). Ikuko Takeda’s essay printed in this issue of EWR illustrates the scholarship resulting from the Welty Foundation and MDAH’s generous fellowship.
At the conclusion of each issue of EWR, one finds a “Checklist of Welty Scholarship” of the previous year. As it takes some time for items to appear in bibliographic data bases, Catherine Chengges’s checklist provides scholars the most recent and complete references. It is our pleasure to also announce that the contents of the Eudora Welty Newsletter (1977–2008) and the Eudora Welty Review (2009–) are in the process of being made available electronically on JSTOR. We will continue to print and mail EWR to all our subscribers, the contents of which will be found on JSTOR three years after print publication...