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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Creating 'longing' for what is true

“Good writers don’t moralize, nor do they preach, but they do create longing for the true and the beautiful.” – Eudora Welty

Eudora Alice Welty spent most of her life in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, where her home is not only a National Historic Landmark but also a public museum.  Primarily a writer about the American South, she still deserves to be called a “National” Writing Treasure.  Her writing shared a love of the region and its unique communities and brought then to life for the entire nation to see.  

Primarily a writer of short stories (honored in 1992 for her lifetime contributions to the genre), she also penned one of the all-time best American novels – the 1973 Pulitzer Prize winner, The Optimist’s Daughter.  And, she did a series of lectures released in the 1980s as a New York Times bestselling nonfiction book, One Writer's Beginnings, runner-up for the National Book Award.

“Place” was always vitally important to Welty in her writings.   It is, she said, what makes fiction seem real, because with it come customs, feelings, and associations.   Place answers the questions: "What happened? Who's here? Who's coming?"              
                                      And that, she said, is the job of the storyteller.

“Both reading and writing,” Welty noted,  “are experiences – lifelong – in the course of which we who encounter words used in certain ways are persuaded by them to be brought mind and heart within the presence, the power, of the imagination.”

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