Sunday, October 28, 2012

Book Review: "The Eye of the Story"

In a previous post I mentioned how I was having trouble with Eudora Welty's book The Eye of the Story. I must report that the book seemed to improve as I got further into it. The first part, Welty's analysis of of the body of work of several writers, was incomprehensible. The second part, seven essays on writing, was not quite as bad as the first part but almost. She talked about several aspects of a story, and how to use them in fiction. Unfortunately I didn't learn much.

The third part of the book was criticism of specific works by a number of writers, including Washington Irving, Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, and E.B. White. I found this part quite well done, and very understandable. Of course, I found it to have limited enjoyment, as I do most literary criticism.

The fourth part is called "Personal and Occasional Pieces". This is a series of essays about things of interest to Welty. At least, I think that's what it is. I only read the first two. They dealt with travel to Mississippi, Welty's home state. They were good, but I'm afraid right now I'm not interested in reading travel pieces from the 1950s, 60, and 70s.

So all in all, I count this book a bust, and declare the 50 cents I spent on it to have been wasted.

Although, on the chance that the problem might be my comprehension and not her writing, I'm going to stick this on my writing bookshelf. I may pull it out in a few years and read it again. For those interested in Welty's works, you might check back here in about twenty years and see if I read more and wrote more about this.

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