- Users’ Guide: A Word from the Editor
Continuing the Eudora Welty Review’s interest in the international reach and readership of Eudora Welty’s work, we include an introduction to The Golden Apples (1949) published in Czechoslovakian (Zlatá jablka 2016) provided by Hana Ulmanova who also interviewed the Czech translator, Martina Knápková. It is rewarding to know that readers and scholars worldwide recognize and enjoy Welty’s masterpiece. We are encouraged that international scholars continue to read and study Welty’s fiction, nonfiction, and photographs.
Among this issue’s essays are readings of Welty’s fiction in comparison with work by Langston Hughes (Donnie McMahand and Kevin L. Murphy’s “‘Whose Music Was it?’: Unaccountable Art and Uncontainable Sex in Langston Hughes’s ‘Home’ and Eudora Welty’s ‘June Recital’”) and Flannery O’Connor (Robert H. Brinkmeyer’s “Murder and Rape: Reading Flannery O’Connor alongside Eudora Welty”). Rebecca Harrison’s “The Maid of Orléans at the Palace of Pleasure: Welty’s ‘The Purple Hat’ and the Emblematic Nature of Violence” is a fascinating and serious analysis of Welty’s Natchez Trace/New Orleans story approached through multiple cultural and historical lenses including Joan of Arc. Reading Shannon Draucker’s essay “Alternative Corporealities in ‘June Recital’: Eudora Welty’s Queering of Virgie Rainey and Miss Eckhart,” I note first that in Part III of “June Recital,” when Miss Eckhart is creating the fire and is “captured,” neither the two men nor Loch, who recounts the action from his perch in the tree, refer to Miss Eckhart by name. This non-acknowledgement may further indicate male authority over Miss Eckhart, as Draucker indicates in note 13; they do not recognize her as an individual. Second, Miss Eckhart’s fire might be understood as ritualistic self-immolation. One thinks of Virgil’s Dido who was both hated and worshiped and who was deified after her suicide. Such is not the fate of Miss Eckhart, as Draucker notes. Miss Eckhart is diligent in keeping oxygen from spreading the fire beyond the room. She is not burning down the MacLain house; she is sacrificing herself to her art as best as she can devise.
The Eudora Welty House and Garden and the Welty Collection, both maintained by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), Eudora Welty Review, Eudora Welty Society, and Eudora Welty [End Page ix] Foundation work in harmony to promote and extend the legacy of Eudora Welty. Two significant contributions to that end are the Ruth Vande Kieft Award given by the Eudora Welty Society to a scholar new to the Welty field for that scholar’s essay. The award-winning essay is then published in the EWR. This year the recipient of the Ruth Vande Kieft Award is Kelsey E. Moore for her essay “‘As if a rabbit had run over her grave’: Gothic Girlhood in Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding.” Moore completed her master’s degree at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and now works at Colby College. A second encouragement for beginning scholars is the Eudora Welty Fellowship awarded for research in the Welty Collection at MDAH each summer. The fellowship is funded by the Welty Foundation and facilitated by MDAH, and a report, in the form of an essay, is published in the EWR. Sophia Leonard, a doctoral student at Emory University, contributes her 2017 fellowship report regarding Welty’s short fiction published in The New Yorker. We can look forward to more contributions to Welty studies from both Moore and Leonard.
This issue’s “Checklist of Scholarship” enumerates the thirty-one essays gathered in Mae Miller Claxton and Julia Eichelberger’s Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty: Twenty-First-Century Approaches, a volume that has been under development and review for several years. Many of the contributors are seasoned Welty scholars; all are engaged in teaching Welty’s work. EWR invited four scholars of varying backgrounds, research interests, and teaching venues both in and out of the South to contribute to a roundup review of Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty. Draucker is in her final year of writing her dissertation “Sounding Bodies, Music and Victorian Narratives” at Boston University. Her...