Certain Things Last

Sherwood Anderson, Author, Charles E. Modlin, Editor
Sherwood Anderson, Author, Charles E. Modlin, Editor Four Walls Eight Windows $24.95 (359p) ISBN 978-0-941423-85-4
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Paperback - 359 pages - 978-1-56858-022-7
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Anderson (1876-1941) is well remembered for Winesburg, Ohio , the collection of linked stories that fathomed small-town America, but his most individual work can be found elsewhere, especially in short fiction. So it's with a sense of anticipation that a reader approaches this collection, edited by the executor of Anderson's estate and including five stories never previously published in book form. It turns out to be an uneven collection, as Anderson's imagination rises and falls. Some of his work is dated--depicting a time of relative innocence, though he questioned it--and yet the best stories baffle efforts to place them categorically or otherwise. The provincial limitations that he evoked so tellingly in ``The Man Who Became a Woman,'' for example, still contain the sense of enormous possibility, rendered in a way that is immensely moving. ``What I want to do is to express in my book a sense of the strangeness that has gradually, since I was a boy, been creeping more and more into my feeling about everyday life,'' a typical Anderson narrator reflects, disarmingly stubborn in his refusal to further complicate a chimerical world. The stories here are full of that refusal, and those most true to it will certainly last. (Dec.)
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