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"...a poetry of gestures and inflections and shadows..."

Charles Baxter, who edited Library of America's recent volume Sherwood Anderson: Collected Stories, reflects on Anderson, particularly as a fellow Midwest writer:
What you showed in public was not what you often felt in private, and what you felt, or knew, in private, you could not say. You can find this division anywhere, but it typically arises in places where reticence is given great value, where open spaces separate people. It creates a poetry of gestures and inflections and shadows.
I finally read Winesburg, Ohio a few years ago and loved it, but haven't read any more Anderson since. I might next dip into either these stories or the 1916 novel Windy McPherson's Son, after reading Carl S. Smith's extended (and favorable) discussion of the book last year in Chicago and the American Literary Imagination, 1880-1920.

January 17, 2013 in Books | Permalink