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In the course of his career Willie Morris (1934-1999) attained national prominence as a journalist, editor, nonfiction writer, novelist, memoirist, and news commentator. As this eloquent book reveals, he was also a master essayist whose gift was in crafting short compositions.Shifting Interludes, an anthology that spans his career of forty years, includes pieces he wrote fIn the course of his career Willie Morris (1934-1999) attained national prominence as a journalist, editor, nonfiction writer, novelist, memoirist, and news commentator. As this eloquent book reveals, he was also a master essayist whose gift was in crafting short compositions.Shifting Interludes, an anthology that spans his career of forty years, includes pieces he wrote for the Daily Texan, Texas Observer, the Washington Star, Vanity Fair, Southern Living, and other publications. These diverse works reflect the scope of Morris's wide-ranging interests. The collection comprises biographical profiles, newspaper editorials and columns, political analyses, travel narratives, sports commentaries, book reviews, and his thoughts--both critical and affectionate--about his beloved home state of Mississippi.Two essays are previously unpublished---A Long-ago Rendezvous with Alger Hiss- and -The Day I Followed the Mayor around Town.- One essay, -Mississippi Rebel on a Texas Campus, - is the first article he wrote for a national publication.Morris's subjects reflect his autobiography, his poignant feelings, and his courtly manners. He expresses his outrage as he decries Southern racism in -Despair in Mississippi, - his melancholy as he recounts a visit to his hometown Yazoo City in -The Rain Fell Noiselessly, - his grace as he salutes a college football team and its fallen comrade in -In the Spirit of the Game, - his humor as he admits to a bout of middle-age infatuation in -Mitch and the Infield Fly Rule, - and his pensiveness as he remembers his much-loved grandmother Mamie in -Weep No More, My Lady.-...

Title : Shifting Interludes: Selected Essays
Author :
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ISBN : 9781578064786
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 209 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Shifting Interludes: Selected Essays Reviews

  • Diann Blakely
    2019-05-14 01:47

    Written by his now famous former student, Donna Tartt, author of THE SECRET HISTORY and THE LITTLE FRIEND, offers one of the most moving elegiac on Morris, first published in the OXFORD AMERICAN and later reprinted in REMEMBERING WILLIE (U/Press Mississippi, 2000). Tartt speaks most eloquently about Morris’ largeness of heart—a characteristic that, in the pages of a subsequent collection of his essays, SHIFTING INTERLUDES, continues to swell counter to the smaller if more immediately catchy ironies of postmodern life. Morris appears here as the enormously respected cultural and political observer who edited HARPER’s for nearly a decade and who wrote with passionate astuteness about race, whether under the rubric of sports or movie-making.Nonetheless, SHIFTING INTERLUDES reveals Morris to have shone most plangently as an elegiac writer himself. Subjects for Morris’ elegies include dogs, his years in England as a Rhodes scholar, his time as a journalist and editor, his first marriage, his return to Mississippi, and a sense of the past itself. (“Say, wasn’t there some kind of battle here?” a man asks Morris as they both sit in a bar overlooking the Mississippi River in Vicksburg.) Morris’ excesses as an elegist—his indulgence in sweetly fuzzed nostalgia—and as a person were usually blamed on drink, as Tartt states in her own homage with admirable clarity and lack of euphemism. “The truth was more complicated,” she states, “and had to do with that raw, gigantic intensely tender heart...which he seldom protected in any way but left right on the surface for the world to scratch at.”Some people, she implies, aren’t destroyed by alcohol but kept alive by the protections—however small, meager, temporary and even illusory—it affords. “How are your spirits, darling?” was Morris’ perennial and sincere greeting to those he cared most deeply about; his own spirits were perhaps too large, too ill-fitting and too naked to loss for our smugly abstemious age.