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The Memories of Others: Thomas Wolfe and the Creative Process.

In The Story of a Novel, his well-known 1936 essay on the composition and editing process that resulted in Of Time and the River, Thomas Wolfe writes, "The quality of my memory is characterized, I believe, in a more than ordinary degree by the intensity of its sense impressions, its power to evoke and bring back the odors, sounds, colors, shapes, and feel of things with concrete vividness" (31). Wolfe goes on to write that, while living in Paris, his homesickness for America inspired an "almost intolerable effort of memory and desire" that flooded into his consciousness.
   Now my memory was at work night and day, in a way
   that I could at first neither check nor control and that
   swarmed unbidden in a stream of blazing pageantry
   across my mind, with the million forms and substances
   of the life that I had left, which was my own, America.
   ... And this utterly familiar, common thing would suddenly
   be revealed to me with all the wonder with which
   we discover a thing which we have seen all our life and
   yet have never known before. (31-32)


In typical Wolfean fashion, he gives a number of highly detailed examples that illustrate the sensual intensity of his memory, but he had already revealed the essence of his creative process in this first confessional passage: "my memory was at work ... in a way that I could at first neither check nor control" (31). And further, that any "utterly familiar, common thing would suddenly be revealed to me with all the wonder with which we discover a thing which we have seen all our life and yet have never known before" (32).

For Thomas Wolfe, the creative process was inextricably intertwined with the generative power of memory: both his own memory and, later in his career, that of others. To understand how his best novels and stories were created, it is necessary to explore how he was at times possessed by his own memories and how he struggled as an artist to both revisit prior experiences and express them in a way that elicited equally intense experiences in his readers. In The Story of a Novel, he goes on to write that
   my life would ache with the whole memory of it; the desire
   to see it again; somehow to find a word for it; a language
   that would tell its shape, its color, the way we
   have all known and felt and seen it.... And from the
   moment of that discovery, the line and purpose of my
   life was shaped. (35)


In other words, for Wolfe the creative process was almost always characterized by the herculean struggle to harness the "torrential and ungovernable flood" of his memory (37). This struggle is true from the earliest stages of his career--when he was invoking his own memory through the notes that became The Autobiographical Outline for Look Homeward, Angel--to the later stages, when he shifted his attention in part to the memories of others whom he knew intimately.

In this essay, I argue that Wolfe's early struggles to transform his own intense and sensual memories into fiction prepared him for his later use of the memories of others. Further, that much of his best fiction was written in the 1930s when he used the memories of others to craft short stories and novellas with much greater artistic control than he could often manage when his subject was his own past. In works as diverse as The Good Child's River, The Lost Boy, "Chickamauga," and "The Web of Earth," Wolfe treats materials far removed in space and time from his personal experience, and thereby gains the distance necessary to shape the raw material of memory into tightly constructed and powerful fiction. Indeed, it is impossible to understand the creative genius of Thomas Wolfe without analyzing the unique way in which his own memory fed and, at times, overwhelmed him in his early career as a writer. Further, it is impossible to judge the success of his creative use of memory without examining the short stories and novellas from the 1930s in which he successfully manipulated the deep and compelling recollections of others.

The topic of memory is not a new one in Wolfe studies. As early as 1962, in one of the earliest--and still one of the best--studies of Wolfe's life and fiction, Richard S. Kennedy explored the complex interplay of Wolfe's life and fiction. In this seminal work, pointedly titled The Window of Memory, Kennedy examined the various academic and intellectual influences on Wolfe's creative process, including what the author himself believed about creativity. Kennedy pointed out that these academic influences included UNC Professor Edwin Greenlaw's dictum that "literature [is] a transcript of life" (qtd. in Kennedy 4), an important early indicator of Wolfe's ambivalent relationship to his own past. But even more importantly, Kennedy was the first scholar to study Harvard Professor John Livingston Lowes's influence on Wolfe. While Wolfe was taking Lowes's course on the Romantic poets in graduate school, Lowes himself was engaged in writing an important study of Coleridge,1 specifically how his poetry was fed by his enormous reading. Lowes argues that most if not all of Coleridge's best work was made up of literary material that was lodged in the "deep well of unconscious cerebration" (qtd. in Kennedy 63), a phrase that Lowes famously borrowed from Henry James. Lowes's belief that Coleridge's poetry was composed of imagery and language that "rose from the chaos of twilight memory" had a profound impact on Wolfe and set the young author on an almost manic reading plan of his own to feed his imagination (63). The important thing to note here is that as early as his time at Harvard, Wolfe received implicit permission to consider his own memory--conscious and subconscious--as the engine of his creativity.

Other important studies that examine memory as the key to Wolfe's creative process followed; although they often focused primarily on the author's relationship to time and the loss that occurs through its passage. Both Louis Rubin ("Thomas Wolfe: Time and the South") and Margaret Church ("Thomas Wolfe: Dark Time") explore Wolfe's efforts to recall, and even re-create, the past. What neither Rubin nor Church explores in detail, however, is Wolfe's beliefs about his own memory and its role in defeating time. That more detailed analysis falls to Morris Beja, who juxtaposed the themes of memory and time in his 1965 essay, "Why You Can't Go Home Again: Thomas Wolfe and 'The Escapes of Time and Memory.'" Beja explored these issues in detail, referring back to The Story of the Novel (as do I) as his starting place. Interestingly, though, Beja argues that after Look Homeward, Angel, Wolfe failed in his attempts to give artistic shape to the raw material of memory because "Extreme subjectivity controls not only Wolfe's own attitude toward his experiences, but also the attitudes of his heroes toward theirs" (307). In sum, the general conclusion about Wolfe and memory is that although he was obsessed by his memories of things past, he lacked the artistic objectivity of a Proust or a Joyce and so could not control the "stream of blazing pageantry" (Story 31) that memory cast across his mind. Beja's conclusion has become a critical commonplace about Wolfe's fiction, but it is mistaken nonetheless, in large part because Beja limited his discussion to Wolfe's efforts to write his large, sprawling "novels," ignoring the novellas and short stories where Wolfe's use of memory is much more successful--especially so when he portrays the memories of others.

Early in his career, Wolfe was obsessed with somehow capturing the inner landscape of his own memory. David Herbert Donald, Wolfe's most important biographer, agrees with Richard Kennedy and others that after the young author's initial failure as a playwright, he turned to prose fiction because it allowed him a much broader canvas for his sprawling imagination. Partially as the result of his intimate relationship with Aline Bernstein, Wolfe began to explore his own life as the inspiration for prose narrative; whether in the beginning he intended memoir or fiction is uncertain. In their introduction to The Autobiographical Outline for Look Homeward, Angel, Lucy Conniff and Richard Kennedy write that
   Wolfe's first approach was the Autobiographical Outline,
   beginning with his conception in January 1900 and
   continuing through his three years in the Harvard graduate
   school. He had determined that his book would be
   unlike any autobiographical work that had ever been
   written. No matter how it might reflect on himself, his
   parents, his brother and sisters, his friends, or his fellow
   townsmen, he would be utterly honest about every feeling
   that coursed through his being. (xii)


Conniff and Kennedy suggest that Wolfe's "creative process in developing a work of lyric intensity demanded the crudest basis of fact and feeling to give it authenticity" (xii-xiii). Once he began to capture his earliest recollections by jotting them down in phrases, they seemed "to outrun his pencil as the Outline developed" (xiii). This overflow of sensual memory is important because it marks what would become a pattern in Wolfe's creative life; once he began to mine his own memory for information on a certain period of history, sensual data flooded his mind "in a way that [he] could ... neither check nor control" (Story 31).

If you compare the tide of raw memories recorded in The Autobiographical Outline with the much longer treatment of events in O Lost and Look Homeward, Angel, several significant patterns appear. First, Wolfe both revised and embellished his memories as he worked on the manuscript that became O Lost. In many instances, he did far more than just change the names of his characters; he invented whole episodes, as well as adding structure and depth to important scenes. In The Autobiographical Outline, the list of sensory details surrounding Ben's death, for example, starts in the middle of a passage that includes material from the beginning of the term at UNC and is followed immediately after by an exploration of Julia Wolfe's stinginess (4041). From start to finish, the description of Ben's death contains a startling number of (often gruesome) details, including bits of dialogue, but it is only 291 words long and is treated with a surprising objectivity. This same material becomes 28 pages of emotionally fraught drama in chapters 37-38 of O Lost and 36 pages in chapters 35-36 of Look Homeward, Angel. In other words, Wolfe expanded greatly on his memories of the event to create a more effective fictional episode but also one that was much longer and more complex.

At this stage of his career, Wolfe was using fiction to re-create events from his own past. In addition, however, he was struggling to create a vast background against which to portray the events that poured out of his memory. When Maxwell Perkins asked him to shorten O Lost by excising material that did not directly have to do with Eugene Gant, he may have done Wolfe more artistic harm than good because he further focused the book we now read as Look Homeward, Angel on the raw material of Wolfe's own memories rather than the stories that Wolfe gleaned from his extended family and the life surrounding him. In other words, Perkins emphasized and even encouraged Wolfe's tendency to delve even deeper into the "stream of blazing pageantry" that haunted his own mind. Like Greenlaw and Lowes before him, Perkins may have unwittingly contributed to the autobiographical surge that would continue to haunt Wolfe's struggles to write longer fiction.

Seen in this context, it is all the more important to understand what influenced Wolfe's efforts to mine his own memory for raw material during the early stages of his career. During the writing of Look Homeward, Angel, Wolfe was swayed by what he learned about depth psychology from Aline Bernstein and her acquaintances in New York. During the early days of Wolfe's affair with Bernstein, he learned that she was being psychoanalyzed by Dr. Beatrice Hinkle, a prominent therapist who had translated Jung's theories on the life force as well as his ideas about racial memory (Kennedy 115-16). As David Donald affirms, Wolfe insisted that Bernstein tell him everything about her sessions with Hinkle, as he could not afford to be psychoanalyzed himself (148). Jung's influence is important because it illuminates Wolfe's belief that he could somehow "remember" events that happened before he was born, particularly those involving his father and mother as well as other family members. It also fed his fascination with the deep memories of non-family members, especially Bernstein. After Wolfe's death, Bernstein told Richard Kennedy that "Tom believed that people knew more than they knew--that is, what their ancestors had known" (qtd. in Kennedy 116). Wolfe's fascination with racial memory helps explain the forty-five-page "Prologue" to O Lost, most of which has to do with Gant and Pentland family history in the years before Eugene was born, and most of which was cut from Look Homeward, Angel.

Thus Wolfe arrived in his early twenties, determined to write a long, prose excavation of his own past fueled by the generative power of his own peculiar memory. Under the influence of Professor Lowes's theories about the "deep well of unconscious cerebration" and Jung's belief in the reality of racial or genetic memory, Wolfe had come to believe in the creative power of his own memory to defeat the ravages of time. As he wrote later in The Story of a Novel, he believed that things lost in time could be re-created with all the intensity of new experience: "this utterly familiar, common thing would suddenly be revealed" (32). Was Wolfe successful in his quest to harness and shape the raw material of his memory into evocative fiction? Most scholars would agree with Morris Beja that Wolfe's novels after Look Homeward, Angel are artistic failures because "he ... failed to achieve that unique blend of subjective interest and objective insight" that would have allowed him to control his materials. And, as a result, both Wolfe the artist and his characters are "self-deluded as well as self-absorbed" and are "unable to look at the world except through their own highly distorted glasses" (307).

Perhaps this is a fair assessment if the only works to be judged are Of Time and the River and the posthumous books assembled by Edward C. Aswell for Harper & Brothers. However, if one agrees with Louis Rubin--as I do--that "Wolfe is a writer, after Look Homeward, Angel, of fragments" (82), then we can judge his relative success only by examining his short stories and novellas, some of which were only reassembled in the 1990s. In many of these works, Wolfe forged the memories of others into mature artistic creations. In works like The Good Child's River (based on Aline Bernstein's childhood), the complete version of The Lost Boy (based on the memories of several family members), the story "Chickamauga" (based on the wartime memories of his great-uncle John Baird Westall), and "The Web of Earth" (presumably based on his mother's memories), Wolfe shapes the recollections of others into compelling fiction that is neither self-deluded nor self-absorbed. In fact, it may be that his ongoing struggle to "check [and] control" his own memories in the longer fiction contributed to his ability to shape the memories of others into a well-crafted story.

The first, and one of the finest, examples of Wolfe's creative use of the memories of others is his transformation of his mistress Aline Bernstein's life into the material that eventually became The Good Child's River. The central character of The Good Child's River is Esther Jack, Wolfe's thinly disguised version of Bernstein that appears throughout The Web and the Rock. As Paschal Reeves describes the process:
   Wolfe was fascinated with the anecdotes Mrs. Bernstein
   told him of her girlhood in New York and he intended to
   write the story of her early years.... In the summer of
   1930 he compiled long outlines for "The Good Child's
   River," which follow the actual events in Mrs. Bernstein's
   life rather closely, and he later wrote up a number of
   episodes...Wolfe did not rely solely on his memory of
   conversations, however, but asked Mrs. Bernstein to write
   out her story for him, which she gladly did, even supplying
   him information long after their final estrangement.
   (283-84)


Of all the material that Wolfe wrote based on Bernstein's memories of her girlhood, only a single segment titled "In the Park" appeared during his lifetime (first in Harper's Bazaar and then in From Death to Morning, 1935). Despite this fragmentary publishing history, however, there existed in Wolfe's manuscripts the elements of a finished book, which were assembled and edited by Suzanne Stutman and published in 1991.

There are two lessons to be learned from The Good Child's River about Wolfe's creative process. The first is that he was as obsessed about Bernstein's memories of childhood as he was his own. He went to great trouble to record "long outlines" based on what she told him, first as they lay side by side in a New York loft and later through almost endless follow-up questions. These outlines are similar to The Autobiographical Outline for Look Homeward, Angel that he made from his own memories in that they "follow the actual events in Mrs. Bernstein's life rather closely," and he would later work to transform those memories into an evocative narrative. Although he couldn't share Bernstein's racial memories in the same way he could those of his parents or siblings, he could, through detailed and repetitive storytelling in an intimate setting, collect her memories for fictional re-creation. The second lesson is that working from someone else's past rather than his own gave Wolfe the distance necessary to transform memory into effective narrative. Aline Bernstein's childhood was far removed from anything resembling Wolfe's own experience and so demanded authorial distance. As Stutman concludes, "... 'The Good Child's River' is a testimony to the talent of Thomas Wolfe [because] Esther Jack is one of his greatest creations, if not the finest character of his later works" (30).

After publication of the novel-length The Good Child's River in 1991, Wolfe scholar James Clark edited Wolfe's complete novella The Lost Boy for publication in 1992. This novella is based on the life and death of Wolfe's brother Grover, who died while the family was at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. Clark writes:
   In each part of this work Wolfe presents Grover from the
   perspective of a different family member. Part I is a
   third-person prose poem that relates Grover's own impressions
   and comprehensions of his afternoon experiences
   on the hometown square in April 1904.... Part II
   presents Grover through his mother's adoring eyes; she
   focuses especially on a long-ago train trip ... to St. Louis
   and the World's Fair. An older sister gives her acutely
   personal retrospection from the 1930s in Part III. In Part
   IV the youngest brother relates his own unsuccessful attempt
   to find Grover ... as he returns to the house in St.
   Louis where the family had spent seven months more
   than thirty years earlier. (ix-x)


Three of the four sections of this complete version of The Lost Boy are the product of memory: in part 2, the memories of Wolfe's mother; in part 3, the memories of his sister; and in part 4, Wolfe's own early childhood memories as he struggles to rediscover his brother's essence. The Lost Boy is a symphonic work that weaves together the various voices of family memory into a powerful--and artistically satisfying--whole. Part of the reason why The Lost Boy is so successful, however, is that the memories of the narrator's sister and mother are at least as important as, if not more important than, the narrator's own. They form the core of the narrative and establish the background against which we can understand the narrator's search for truth in the last section.

Wolfe's artistic use of the memories of others is also illustrated by his short story "Chickamauga," which was based on the memories of his great-uncle John Baird Westall. When Wolfe returned to Asheville in the spring of 1937, he stopped over in Burnsville, North Carolina, where he spent some time with the ninety-five-year-old Westall at his home. The aged veteran had served in the 29th North Carolina Infantry during the Civil War and replayed for his nephew his memories of the horrific battle at Chickamauga in north Georgia. Wolfe took notes furiously in his journal while the old man talked (not unlike the notes he took based on his own and Aline Bernstein's memories), which he eventually used as the basis of his celebrated short story "Chickamauga," which was published in the Yale Review in 1938. On July 13, 1937, Wolfe wrote his friend and fellow novelist Hamilton Basso that he had written
   a story called "Chickamauga" and if I do say so, it is one
   of the best stories I ever wrote. I got the idea for it from
   an old, old man, my great-uncle, John Westall.... When
   I saw him this spring, he began to tell me about ... the
   battle of Chickamauga, which was, he said, the bloodiest,
   most savage battle he was ever in. He told about it
   all so wonderfully and in such pungent and poetic language,
   such as so many of the old country people
   around here use, that I couldn't wait ... to begin on it.
   (625)


What comes through clearly here is Wolfe's fascination with the recollections of his blood relation. In addition, his intense response to the voice in which the story is told ("such pungent and poetic language") is linked to the sensual power of the memories themselves and helps translate them into powerful fiction. As in The Good Child's River, the world of John Westall's Civil War adventures are far removed from Wolfe's own experience in both space and time. Both the story and the voice in which it is told demand creative objectivity, and Wolfe responds admirably.

Perhaps the best example of Wolfe's use of the memories of his intimates to inspire his fiction is the novella that first appeared in Scribner's Magazine in 1932 and was later included in From Death to Morning. "The Web of Earth" is narrated by a garrulous old woman who is visiting her son in New York. It is told almost exclusively through the point of view of Eliza Gant and is woven out of her recollections of past events in her own life. Like the other works cited here, it flows out of Wolfe's fascination with the memories of his intimates--family members as well as his lover Bernstein. In this case, it is his mother, Julia Wolfe, who is the source of the raw material for the story, which

Wolfe then transmutes into fictional gold through the voice of a fictionalized Delia Hawke (later changed to Eliza Gant when the novella was reprinted in From Death to Morning). Maxwell Perkins famously praised "The Web of Earth" as word perfect, and Wolfe's letters from the period cite that praise. In a 1932 letter to Julian Mead, Wolfe describes the genesis of the narrative:
   ... it's about an old woman, who sits down to tell a little
   story, but then her octopal memory weaves back and
   forth across the whole fabric of her life until everything
   has gone into it.... [the story] has got everything in it,
   ... yet the whole thing is told with the stark innocence
   of a child. (339)


There is no clearer description of how Wolfe's creative process at its best operates: the "octopal memory weaves back and forth across the fabric of ... life until everything has gone into" the story that emerges. Early in the story, Eliza says to her son: "Remember! Now, boy, you ask me if I can remember! Lord, God! I reckon I remember things you never read about--the way it was, the things they never wrote about in books" (214). It's as if Eliza is reminding Eugene Gant--and Wolfe is reminding us, his readers--that the memory contains a more profound reality than that contained in mere "books." Although Eugene (Wolfe's alter ego) is present in the story as listener to Eliza's teller, his role in the story is minimal. "The Web of Earth" is woven entirely out of the memories of another, and as a result, Wolfe the artist is close enough to the source to access those memories but maintains enough distance to control them artistically. Interestingly, "The Web of Earth" also suggests that Wolfe is at his best artistically when his fictional alter ego, in this case Eugene Gant, is the listener--and not the teller of the tale--when he is on the periphery and not at the center of the action.

When The Story of a Novel appeared (first as a series of articles in The Saturday Review of Literature and then as a 1936 book published by Scribner's), it provoked a famous response by Bernard De Voto, "Genius Is Not Enough." In it, De Voto accused Wolfe of leaving far too much "placenta" in Of Time and the River without transforming it into fiction (3). What is important in retrospect about this accusation is that it is essentially the same argument that Morris Beja made almost 30 years later: that the placental material of Wolfe's memory had not been sufficiently transformed into compelling fiction because Wolfe lacked the proper artistic control. What neither De Voto nor Beja takes into account, however, are Wolfe's shorter works written during the 1930s, many of which are based on the memories of his intimates and many of which exhibit precisely the sort of artistic control that De Voto and Beja see as lacking in the longer work. A more balanced critical response is C. Hugh Holman's introduction to The Short Novels of Thomas Wolfe (1961), in which he argues that "The intrinsic qualities of the short novel were remarkably well adapted to Wolfe's special talents and creative methods" (xviii). Holman explains that the "fabric" of memories recorded in the stories and novellas "have an integrity and a consummate craftsmanship which they seem to lack in the long books" (xviii, xx).

What we can now see, due in part to the work of editorial scholars like Suzanne Stutman and James W. Clark Jr., is that Wolfe was able to use the evocative memories of those closest to him--his mistress Aline Bernstein as well as his immediate family members--to create carefully crafted fiction. Wolfe himself provided one clue as to how he accomplished this transformation, later in The Story of a Novel, when he describes what eventually must happen in the artist's imagination:
   ... more, more familiar even than these scenes of memory
   and inheritance, were those landscapes that somehow
   had been derived from them--the streets, the
   towns, the houses and the faces that I saw and imagined
   not the way they were, but the way they should be in the
   unfathomed, strange, and unsuspected logics of man's
   brain and heart--and that were, on this account, more
   real than real-ness, and more true than home. (65-66;
   emphasis in original)


In other words, what De Voto labeled the placental raw material of memory must eventually be transformed by the imagination into something "more real ... and more true" than the original sense impressions recalled. If Wolfe is right about the power of recollection to transform, the question becomes why did he succeed later in his career with the memories of others when he had so often failed with his own?

First and foremost, Wolfe had matured as a writer by the time he was composing the shorter novels and stories of the 1930s. Even in narratives where his alter ego appears (such as "I Have a Thing to Tell You" and "The House of the Far and Lost") that ego is submerged beneath the more pressing concerns of the other characters in the story. Second, when Wolfe finds his raw material in the far, distant memories of Aline Bernstein, John Westall, Mabel Wolfe Wheaton, or Julia Wolfe, he is creating a fictional territory that is distant in time and space from his own experiences. Third, when Wolfe derives his material from the memories of others rather than his own, he has access to the vivid, sensual detail that only an intimate would share, and yet it is not his own and so it is not psychologically overwhelming. In other words, he is able to draw on the deep resources of Aline Bernstein's past as well as the memories of his own family members for his inspiration, but it is not nearly as overpowering as the material drawn from the deep recesses of his own passionate experiences. To borrow Morris Beja's phrase (in order to disprove his thesis), when Wolfe was writing about the memories of others, he was able to "achieve that unique blend of subjective interest and objective insight" (307) that leads to artistic success, especially when he has access to the memories of his genetic and romantic intimates. The memories are close--and thus subjective--but not so close as to overwhelm objectivity.

The key to Thomas Wolfe's creative process is the way in which he used the unique power of memory to generate sensual impression. When it was his own memory at work, he often became imaginatively drunk on its myriad detail--"its power to evoke and bring back the odors, sounds, colors, shapes, and feel of things with concrete vividness" (Story 31)--but when it was the memory of others who were close to him, Wolfe could achieve both the vividness of sensual representation and the deeper meaning of artistic arrangement and control.

Even as early as the 1920s, when he was working on Look Homeward, Angel, Wolfe gave haunting clues to the primary role of memory in his inner life and his creative process. In chapter 31, during an especially frantic and painful period in the Gant family history, Eugene is preparing to return to the university for his second year. Wolfe describes how Eugene takes some mysterious comfort from a boarder he names Irene Mallard:

He walked through the streets at night with Irene Mallard; the town was thinned and saddened by departures. A few people hurried past, as if driven along by the brief pouncing gusts of wind. He was held in the lure of her subtle weariness: she gave him comfort and he never touched her. But he unpacked the burden of his heart, trembling and passionate. She sat beside him and stroked his hand. It seemed to him that he never knew her until he remembered her years later. (477-78; emphasis added)

What this haunting passage suggests is that, like Eugene Gant, Wolfe the man could only understand some events in his life through the distance of creative retrospection. Furthermore, for Wolfe this depth of understanding, of artistic knowing, most often came when he was remembering through the history and the voice of another.

Thus Wolfe the artist would eventually learn to make meaning out of memory by appropriating the recollections of others and by shaping those recollections through conscious selection and comment. In the last years of his life, he would finally find the distance necessary to create out of the "scenes of memory and inheritance" a fiction that was "more real than real-ness, and more true than home" (Story 65, 66).

Note

(1.) The Road to Xanadu: A Study in the Ways of Imagination. In an end note in his book, Lowes credits his graduate student Thomas Wolfe (misspelling his name as "Wolf") with observing the similarity of a line in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to a line in an Icelandic poem (522).

Works Cited

Beja, Morris. "Why You Can't Go Home Again: Thomas Wolfe and 'The Escapes of Time and Memory.'" Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 11, no. 3, Autumn 1965, pp. 297-314.

Church, Margaret. "Thomas Wolfe: Dark Time." Time and Reality: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, U of North Carolina P, 1963, pp. 207-26.

Clark, James W., Jr. Introduction. Wolfe, Lost Boy, pp. ix-xiv.

Conniff, Lucy, and Richard S. Kennedy. Introduction. Wolfe, Autobiographical, pp. xi-xvi.

DeVoto, Bernard. "Genius Is Not Enough." The Saturday Review of Literature, vol. 13, no. 26, 25 Apr. 1936, pp. 3+.

Donald, David Herbert. Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe. Little, Brown, 1987.

Holman, C. Hugh. Introduction. The Short Novels of Thomas Wolfe, edited by Holman, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1961, pp. vii-xx.

Kennedy, Richard S. The Window of Memory: The Literary Career of Thomas Wolfe. U of North Carolina P, 1962.

Lowes, Jonathan Livingston. The Road to Xanadu: A Study in the Ways of Imagination. Houghton Mifflin, 1927.

Reeves, Paschal. "Thomas Wolfe: Notes on Three Characters." Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 11, no. 3, Autumn 1965, pp. 275-85.

Rubin, Louis D., Jr. "Thomas Wolfe: Time and the South." The Faraway Country: Writers of the Modern South, U of Washington P, 1963, pp. 72-104.

Stutman, Suzanne. Introduction. Wolfe, Good Child's, pp. 1-30.

Wolfe, Thomas. The Autobiographical Outline for Look Homeward, Angel. Edited by Lucy Conniff and Richard S. Kennedy, The Thomas Wolfe Society, 1991.

--. "Chickamauga." Yale Review, vol. 27, no. 2, Winter, 1938, pp. 274-98.

--. From Death to Morning. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935.

--. The Good Child's River. Edited by Suzanne Stutman, U of North Carolina P, 1991.

--. "The House of the Far and Lost." Scribner's Magazine, vol. 96, no. 2, Aug. 1934, pp. 71-81.

--. "I Have a Thing to Tell You (Nun Will Ich Ihnen 'was Sagen)." The New Republic, vol. 90, nos. 1162-1164, 10-24 Mar. 1937, pp. 132-207.

--. "In the Park." Wolfe, From Death, pp. 169-84.

--. The Letters of Thomas Wolfe. Edited by Elizabeth Nowell, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1956.

--. Letter to Hamilton Basso. 13 July 1937. Wolfe, Letters, 623-29.

--. Letter to Julian Meade. 21 Apr. 1932. Wolfe, Letters, 33640.

--. Look Homeward, Angel: A Story of the Buried Life. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929.

--. The Lost Boy. Edited by James W. Clark Jr., U of North Carolina P, 1992.

--. Of Time and the River: A Legend of Man's Hunger in His Youth. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935.

--. O Lost: A Story of the Buried Life. Edited by Arlyn Bruc coli and Matthew J. Bruccoli, U of South Carolina P, 2000.

--. The Story of a Novel. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1936.

--. The Web and the Rock. Harper & Brothers, 1939.

--. "The Web of Earth." 1932. Wolfe, From Death, pp. 212304.

Terry Roberts, who served as editor of The Thomas Wolfe Review for several years, is the author of the Gale Studies volume on Look Homeward, Angel. He is an acclaimed novelist, most recently of The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and is the Director of the National Paideia Center.
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