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One Writer's Beginnings (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization) Paperback – July 21, 1998
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One Writer's Beginnings (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization)
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The book flowed well, but it didn't grab my attention whatsoever, and its not because I have ADD. It was based on the fact that its really only accounts of her family and her life growing up. I didn't want to read an autobiography, I wanted a book on bettering my writing. All in all, I would only recommend this book to the older folks because that's who it is geared towards. My final verdict is quite simple, "Pshaw!!"
One Writer's Beginnings' main themes are very elucidating, since they provide important clues to Welty's success as a writer. The book commences with Welty's early life and the description of her family. In this she starts her first main topic- "listening". She describes her interest in listening to others, and she learned to be an observer. As she states, "A conscious act grew out of this by the time I began to write stories: getting my distance... is the way I begin work." This enchantment of listening helped Welty develop a clear idea on how to compose stories, and how to describe different personalities. The next main topic is "learning to see", which describes her impressions of every place she visited. As Welty explains, every trip her family made helped her later to write her stories, since somewhere in the back of her head those stories were already composed and all she had to do is put them down on paper. Each trip changed Welty's life, making a sort of metamorphosis deep within her character, "They changed something in my life: each trip made its particular revelation." Finally the last main topic of her bibliography is "finding a voice". This part of the book is possibly the most important, since it contains information about the author's personal writing evolution. Here, one can learn about the character development and creation. All of these topics were colorfully described, and each had an essential piece of information which revealed Welty's development as a writer. Therefore, anyone who wishes to improve his writing abilities should read this book and learn more about these educational main themes in Welty's book.
Another powerful asset in One Writer's Beginnings is its intellectual qualities. The book is written in a simplistic way, and it retains high clarity. Even though the language is quite colorful, it is very easy to follow Welty's story. As for instance she writes, "When I did begin to write, the short story was a shape that had already formed itself and stood waiting in the back of my mind." The sentence is easy to read, and it still pertains important information about the author's writing years. Thus this positive quality gives this book a big plus, since it is much easier to learn new things from a book that is written in an understandable language.
The emotional qualities of the book provide a powerful effect on the reader's mind. Welty has an excellent writing style that is both poignant and interesting. She explains a number of emotional moments in her life, which touch the reader. As for instance, she describes the death of her older brother who died before she was born. Yet she still seems to be happy with her life, and all of her misfortunes seem to be just part of her life, and they do not change her love of life. Thus she is very optimistic, and this quality of the book makes it very interesting, since it teaches others not to despair but to enjoy our lives as they are. Also she describes her parent's infinite love for her. The book's emotional qualities help the reader feel closer to the writer, and this makes the book even more interesting.
One Writer's Beginnings is a resplendently composed book on Eudora Welty's life, which contains a simplicity of a parable, and educational themes of a novel. The book is mainly divided into three main pars, Listening, Learning To See, and Finding A Voice. Each of these main topics explain Welty's evolution as a writer, and provide important clues to her writing style. Everyone should definitely consider reading this book, and learning more about such an eminent writer as Eudora Welty. In the end, One Writer's Beginnings is an easy reading book, that can teach its readers many essential ideas and themes about writing. Thus everyone who has not read this book should consider reading this powerful work of literature.
While Welty does not devote most of her pages to describing her authorial practice she does provide insightful passages into her overall development. Here is a key one
" But it was not until I began to write, as I seriously did only when I reached my twenties, that I found the world out there revealing, because ( as with my father now)memory had become attached to seeing , love had added itself to discovery and because I recognized in my own continuing longing to keep going , the need I carried inside myself to know- the apprehension first, and then the passion, to connect myself to it. Through travel I first became aware of the outside world ; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way of becoming part of it."
Welty in the opening section of the work tells how she learned to listen not simply to, but for the stories which she would make literature out of. In the second section she speaks of 'Learning to See' .and the third is devoted to 'Finding a Voice'.
Again I was impressed by her ability to write even of minor characters in her life with perception and sympathy.
A fine work.