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Welty was a photographer before she started writing, so to me reading one of her stories is like looking at a picture. She captured the voices of the people around her just as she captured their images on film. Go to this link for a good discussion of her style; although it's about one story, it does talk about her style in general.
I got to meet Ms. Welty when I was in college. She was a guest speaker at Vanderbilt Univ. (not where I student), and my Southern Lit. class went to hear her speak. She read her story "Why I Live at the PO," which is one of my favorites. She was fabulous.
Wow! How cool to meet her and hear her read one of her stories! That is really amazing!
I have always loved Welty's attention to detail...it is not boring like so many other authors who take three pages to complete the sentence. Somehow in Welty, the picture unfolds before your eyes and you feel as though you are watching a movie as opposed to reading the prose. I didn't know she was a photographer before she began writing...this explains a lot about her writing technique.
They say a picture is worth 1000 words. She proves it!
Eudora Welty has a way of cutting to the chase, but it's also clear she loves her characters. Phoenix is a memorable character mostly because she is presented with love. We admire her perseverance and herwillingness to sacrifice for someone she loves--and Welty shows us, rather than tells us. We walk the journey with her.
There is definitely an attention to detail, creating tremendous life-like images which marks Welty's work as being distinct from the stylistic approach of other authors. I found the very first time that I read this story (ages ago now) that I was able to come up with a very precise picture in my mind of Phoenix Jackson and the kind of obstacles that she faced, and the equanimity with which she met them head-on. Her background as a photographer is certainly evident in her style.
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