James Agee rediscovered : the journals of Let us now praise famous men and other new manuscripts /

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Main Author: Agee, James, 1909-1955.
Other Authors: Lofaro, Michael A., 1948-
Davis, Hugh, 1965-
Format: Book
Language:English
Published:Knoxville : University of Tennessee Press, c2005.
Edition:1st ed.
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Main Author:Agee, James, 1909-1955.
Summary:

Novelist, journalist, film critic, poet, and activist James Agee (1909?1955) produced an impressive array of literary works spanning three decades. His poems, novels, essays, works of criticism, and screenplays gave profound social insights into the Depression-ridden 1930s and war-torn 1940s, and scholars study and debate his work to this day. Agee, a Tennessee native, is arguably the most important literary figure from the state.James Agee Rediscovered, edited by Michael A. Lofaro and Hugh Davis, gives a newand unique perspective on this prolific writer. With this book, the editors have puttogether an untarnished and unfettered collection of previously unpublished manuscripts of one of America's most intriguing authors. Featuring various drafts and fragments of Agee's manuscripts from the University of Tennessee Collections Library, the Ransom Center at the University of Texas, and the James Agee Trust, this book reveals the inner thoughts and creative sensibilities of an eclectic writer.James Agee Rediscovered consists of journal entries, drafts of original material, and heretofore undiscovered literary works. Lofaro and Davis compiled this collection with a minimum of editorial intrusion. The result is an untainted glimpse of Agee at his creative best.Using his masterwork 'Let Us Now Praise Famous Men' as its focal point, the collection covers all aspects of Agee's literary career. Readers will discover Agee's thoughts on topics ranging from love to the art of protest, from Charlie Chaplin to race relations.James Agee Rediscovered is a major addition to the field of literary biography.Devotees of Agee, as well the literary curious, will be fascinated by this raw look at a major literary talent.

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General Notes:Includes index.
Physical Description:xlv, 437 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN:1572333553 (alk. paper)
Author Notes:

Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on November 27, 1909 and educated at Harvard, James Agee crowded versatile literary activity into his short and troubled life. In addition to two novels, he wrote short stories, essays, poetry, and screenplays; he worked professionally as a journalist and film critic. Appropriately, he is best remembered for a work that combines several genres and literary approaches. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, a documentary report on sharecropper life accompanied by vividly realistic photographs by Walker Evans, has been called "a great Moby Dick of a book" (New York Times Book Review). It may be considered an important precursor of the so-called nonfiction novel that was to gain prominence during the 1960s.

The Morning Watch (1954), a novel in the tradition of portraits of artists-to-be, and A Death in the Family, a moving account of domestic life based on the loss of Agee's father belong to more conventional types of fiction. The 1960 dramatization of All the Way Home by Tad Mosel, won a Pulitizer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award; it was also cited by Life as the "Best American Play of the Season." Agee's work for the screen included his scripts for The African Queen and The Night of the Hunter. Agee on Film (1958-60) consists of a gathering of reviews and comments as well as five scripts.

Prior to Laurence Bergreen's well-received 1984 biography of Agee, the principal source of information about his life was Letters of James Agee to Father Flye, a collection of seventy letters written by Agee to his instructor at St. Andrew's School and trusted friend throughout his life. The letters show Agee most often in a reflective, self-condemning mood. The final letters, written from the hospital where he was battling daily heart attacks, are touching, as are his sad reflections on the work he yet wanted to do.

Agee died in New York of a heart attack on May 16, 1955. He was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for A Death in the Family.

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