Review by Choice Review
Using the psychoanalytic theories of Carol Gilligan and Nancy Chodorow, Mortimer explores the complex relations between love and knowing in Eudora Welty's fiction. Mortimer examines the images of circle and labyrinth in Welty's stories and novels and suggests that these images evoke both the inside and outside status of the lover and the knower. Mortimer relies on Welty's own childhood quest for love and knowledge in readings of the failure of protective love in The Optimist's Daughter (CH, Sep'72). Through her often brilliant readings of Welty's works, Mortimer places the novelist in the tradition of Shelley, Keats, Coleridge, and Yeats--from whose poem "Among School Children" the book's title is drawn--because of their exploration of evocative images (circle, dome, labyrinth) that reflect the solitary aspects of human consciousness seeking knowledge. Mortimer's book ranges far and wide to explore the mythic elements of Welty's rich oeuvre. This welcome addition to the growing number of studies on Welty is recommended to academic and general audiences. H. L. Carrigan, Jr.; Otterbein College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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