Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Shelby Foote began his writing career with poetry, publishing a number of poems in his high school newspaper as well as in The Oxford Magazine, an independent periodical published in Oxford, Mississippi. Foote later admitted, however, that he was more attracted to prose than to poetry and that he found prose rhythms more interesting than poetic rhythms; consequently, he abandoned poetry for prose writing.

Foote also wrote a number of short stories; all of his early stories appeared in The Carolina Magazine, the University of North Carolina’s literary magazine, including such titles as “The Good Pilgrim: A Fury Is Calmed,” “The Old Man That Sold Peanuts in New Orleans,” “The Village Killers,” “The Primrose Hill,” and “Bristol’s Gargoyle.” Saturday Evening Post published “Flood Burial,” which eventually became an incident in Foote’s novel Tournament; Saturday Evening Post also published “Tell Them Good-By,” a shorter version of a story that was eventually titled “Ride Out.” Portions of Shiloh appeared in Blue Book Magazine and in Esquire. In 1957, Foote edited a book of short stories titled The Night Before Chancellorsville, and Other Civil War Stories, which included a legitimate shorter version of Foote’s “Pillar of Fire.” Because he favored the novel over the short story, however, he abandoned the latter form.

As writer-in-residence at the...

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