The Far and the Near Criticism

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Like much of Thomas Wolfe's short fiction, the stories in From Death to Morning, including "The Far and the Near," were formed from leftover material that did not fit into his novels—in this case, 1935's Of Time and the River. Although the novel sold well, the collection of stories did not. In addition, as Ladell Payne notes in his 1991 entry on Wolfe for the Dictionary of Literary Biography, although Wolfe was famous in 1935, "he also was stung by the criticism that he was too wordy, too autobiographical, and too dependent upon Perkins." Payne is referring to Maxwell Perkins, Wolfe's editor at Charles Scribner's & Sons.

These three criticisms were brought up again the next year by Bernard DeVoto. In his nowfamous piece for the Saturday Review of Literature, "Genius Is Not Enough," DeVoto used the review of Wolfe's essay The Story of a Novel as...

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This section contains 795 words
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