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162 Western American Literature Meanwhile, his son allows that “there are ways for people to exist in some measure of harmony with their natural surroundings,” but adds that “you might rather there were no people at all.” And, as if to suggest he indeed “might rather” wish mankind out of paradise, Eliot Porter excludes human figures from his grand American gallery. But even when they are out of sight, the prodigal Americans in American Places cannot be kept out of mind. Let us hope that this eloquent portrait of our leading national resource will prompt us to appreciate it more, and to use it better. FORREST G. ROBINSON University of California, Santa Cruz Frederick Manfred: A Bibliography and Publishing History. By Rodney J. Mulder and John H. Timmerman. (Sioux Falls, South Dakota: The Center for Western Studies, 1981. 139 pages, $16.95.) Scholars who have been watching the career of Frederick Manfred will take pleasure in this new bibliography, and so will many of his well-wishers from across the years. George Kellogg’s 1965 bibliography needed updating: the bulk of Manfred criticism has been written since Alan Swallow published Kellogg’s findings. Rodney J. Mulder and John H. Timmerman have been thorough in their work. They describe carefully each edition of Manfred’s books printed before January 1, 1981. They also list not only critical treat­ ments of Manfred, but virtually every book review longer than a single para­ graph. The Center for Western Studies has made a handsome book out of their labors; thus the Center provides both a useful tool for Manfred scholars and an impressive tribute to their Siouxland author. After many of the book descriptions, the editors provide notes giving special information about the book’shistory. We learn, for instance, the titles of the seven drafts that became The Golden Bowl (1944) and that Manfred thinks King of Spades (1966) contains some of his best writing; not all his readers have judged that novel among his best. The notes to Mulder and Timmerman’s bibliography are perhaps of greatest interest as they treat the histories of those of Manfred’s novels that have had the least critical or popular success. We get, for example, excerpts from eight publishers who rejected Milk of Wolves (1976) — almost as if they are badges of honor. The fact remains, however, that Milk of Wolves has had little attention, and no major publishing house yet thinks it made a mistake in rejecting it. The same is true for the problematical Morning Red (1956), which has had much longer to “catch on.” The book review section tells us much about the ups and downs of Manfred’s career. His books were reviewed most widely when he was pub­ lished under the name of Feike Feikema. The Primitive (1949), the first Reviews 163 novel of his autobiographical trilogy, received the greatest initial support — Mulder and Timmerman list forty-five reviews for it. Surprisingly, Lord Grizzly (1954), probably the novel for which Manfred is now most widely known, had only twenty-two reviews. Morning Red had only thirteen reviews, most of them in periodicals not widely known. There were only seven reviews for Milk of Wolves, none from New York and none from a broad enough base to swing support to the book. Of course, Manfred does much better when he is published by a major house. There were twenty-four reviews for Green Earth (1977), the novel published by Crown that followed Milk of Wolves. But a Manfred novel is not reviewed as widely as a novel by an Updike or a Bellow is. There seem to be only pockets of support for Manfred. Mulder and Timmerman received the fullest cooperation from Manfred for their bibliography, and they end the book by giving Manfred his say on his trials in getting published. Manfred’s enthusiasm and warmth are every­ where apparent in “Narrative Interview.” Readers will marvel at the faith that has kept him writing for a lifetime, but they may sometimes come to critical verdicts at odds with his. Granted, the public is sometimes slow in discovering the ore in an author’s work, but authors are often wrong about their...


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pp. 162-163
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