All of Miss Gordon's tales are scrupulous, almost standard examples of symbolic naturalism, a style she defined and developed along with Allen Tate and the one-time Fugitive group. Out of seemingly irreconcilable items (a son-in-law writing an essay on John Skelton, a fox mythically dodging hunters, a widower-professor who ""can smell out fish"", a deserted homestead, blood-tinted leaves, battered old boarders and ""nigger"" hangers-on), Miss Gordon presents picture after picture of the rural South, full of mosaically-minute patterns and commonplace events suddenly sharpened into uncommon revelations. Technically she owes much to James and Joyce (her objective observations, elliptical psychology, evocation of place), and philosophically to the anti-progressive agrarian idealism of the '30's. She once wrote a roman a clef called The Malefactors in which Hart Crane & Co. were the prototype characters; she has here a similarly unsuccessful venture called Emmanuelel Emmanuelel in which the models are Gide, his diaries, his wife's burnt letters, and ?- Paul Claudel. It is the only left-handed offering in the whole collection, and the only non-Southern one. Still, a smashing score, ma'am.