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Studies in American Fiction123 Bassett, John. William Faulkner: An Annotated Checklist of Criticism. New York: David Lewis, 1972. 551 pp. Cloth: $18.50. In 1968, Hyatt Waggoner said that Faulkner studies would decline in the seventies. Well, the decade is half over, an' we ain't seed de last. What thepasthas produced, Bassett lists for us clearly and intelligently. One is disposed to agree with Maurice Beebe, who has called this thebest and most complete listing ofsecondary material, especially since it adds a dozen years of scholarship to the work of Hoffman and Vickery. James B. Meriwether, and others, have given us useful bibliographic studies of the primary materials, but Bassett's book is not properly a Faulkner bibliography but a "checklist of criticism." Most of the entries carry helpful annotations in which selected quotations from reviews illustrate representative comments. If the topic of a critical article is clear from its tide, however, no annotation appears in the entry. Bassett has been thorough, and has organized the material so the reader may use the book quickly and efficiently. Studies of individual novels include lists of contemporary reviews, reviews of British editions, critical articles, and there is a section on reviews of books about Faulkner. There is a good brief introduction, a list of doctoral dissertations (193 of them plus eight British theses), an appendix of items received too late to be included in the text, and an index of critics. The bibliographic entries are meticulously done and reliable. A word on this reviewer's methodology is apropos here: the accuracy of the entries was verified by the triedandtrue method, by having a graduate assistant spend a full semester checking them—which graduate assistant, by the way, has since gone to her reward (doctoralstudy at Marquette). Completeness in a work like Bassett's is almost impossible, whichhe concedes. Buthe is not pretentious when he suggests that all the major, along with much of the minor, commentary in English (the only omission is of criticism in foreign languages, though translated articles are included) on Faulkner's fiction is listed here, with some useful tools for separating one from the other. The book is highly recommended for all Americanists and libraries; it is a convenient aid for anyone especially interested in Faulkner. St. Bonaventure UniversityJames J. Martine Sealts, Merton M., Jr. The Early Lives of Melville: Nineteenth-Century Biographical Sketches and Their Authors. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1974. 280 pp. Cloth: $12.50. Some years ago a reviewer asked a question: Who owns Henry James? The answer was easily forthcoming: Leon Edel. Period. No other biographer has been so successfully associated with James as has Edel. More to the point, if that same question were asked about Herman Melville, the listing of a plurality of formidable names would be in order: Hennig Cohen, Harrison Hayford, Willard Thorp, Hershel Parker, Jay Leyda, and Merton M. Sealts, Jr. The last named is an old Melville hand. Professor Sealts, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is best known in the Melville circle for two commanding studies: Melville as Lecturer (1957) and Melville's Reading: A Check-List of Books Owned and ...


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