Eudora Welty's The Ponder Heart

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Eudora Welty's The Ponder Heart

The New York Times posted a review of Eudora Welty's The Ponder Heart on January 10, 1954. V.S. Pritchett wrote the review titled "Bossy Edna Earle Had a

Word for Everything."

Pritchett gives ample credit to Welty for her novel The Ponder Heart explaining it takes a good deal of experience to write such a story that deals with "a complex position in the narrative" (para 4). Pritchett describes the character, Edna Earle and he is intrigued by her narrative role.

Identifying the characters, certain events, and the type of environment the

story takes place in; Pritchett sets the stage of The Ponder Heart. He identifies this

piece as a "lighter work", but adds "there is not a mistake in it" (para 7). This phrase

is crucial to the review because without it a reader may believe the story has little

substance. The statement "there is not a mistake in it" intrigues the mind to see

what this book is all about.

Pritchett begins the review using complex sentences that appear to be taking

the reader nowhere, making the review weak from the very beginning. In fact, the

first paragraph makes one believe they are reading the wrong review. This

paragraph talks about the Irish revival and Scottish and Welsh regionalism,

appearing to have nothing to do with Welty. Eventually, Pritchett ties this paragraph

into Welty comparing her as an American Southern regional writer.

Pritchett states, "Sometimes a regional writer becomes the professional

topographer of local oddity. With one sophisticated foot outside his territory, he sets

out to make his folk quaint or freakish, and he can be said to condescend to and

even exploit them" (para 2). The Ponder Heartis filled with oddity, as well as quaint and freakish folks making this statement definitely relevant.

Describing The Ponder Heart, Pritchett does no more than give a summary of

the story, with a few exceptions, rather than a critique. Perhaps the book is that

simple, although I don't believe so.
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