THE BALLAD OF CARSON MCCULLERS by Oliver Evans

THE BALLAD OF CARSON MCCULLERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

She was born in 1917 in Columbus, Georgia, where her father owned a jewelry shop and her mother trained her to be a genius. She was given a piano at the age of five, a typewriter at fifteen. At seventeen, she left home for New York, dropped prospects of Juilliard and a musical career for Columbia and writing. By twenty-three she had been married and discovered. She has been married twice to the same man, a delayed casualty of the war, now lives in Nyack, New York, has herself suffered from a series of physical setbacks. These are the structural facts of a life given to writing, and it is in the main her writing with which Oliver Evans deals in this interplay of biography and criticism. He pictures Mrs. McCullers as a didactic writer, includes the criticism of Marguerite Young, Time, English critics (the harshest), makes references to Coleridge and Faulkner. He pursues Mrs. McCullers' themes, watching her move from loneliness as the lack of rapport with others (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Member of the Wedding. Ballad of a Sad Cafe) to the lack of rapport with self (Clock without Hands); her techniques (she uses freaks ""as symbols of the normal""). His is an intelligent rather than brilliant reading.

Pub Date: April 4th, 1966
Publisher: Coward-McCann