Fred Gipson at Work by Glen E. Lich

By Glen E. Lich

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But rainfall and good luck would be hard to predict, and ventures succeeded or failed purely by quirks of weather and market, regardless of how much Anglo muscle, virtue, devotion, or selection went into their making. " He loved the land, not so much for what it was as for what it might once have been.  17 When he graduated in 1926 as one of thirty­eight seniors, he stopped writing but he continued to read classics (his daughter­in­law remembered Jane Eyre, Robinson Crusoe, and The Call of the Wild), Zane Grey westerns, and Texana.

The story then speeds toward a double­twist surprise ending.  28) A formula story, to be sure, but one in which Gipson masterfully recorded the oral performance rituals of folktales with an accuracy that comes of close listening.  "And lots of times, after he's already gone a good ways ahead, he gets to thinking maybe he hasn't done it just right, and comes back to do it all over again" (p.  48).  As with the oral transmission stories like "Sweet Potatoes," Gipson is always the sole object of attention, the inheritor and interpreter of the old to the new.

1 They present his landscape as serene, sunlit, radiant—almost with one voice attesting to his need for space and solitude.  While Gipson worked on this novel and kept his family fed by publishing the individual stories, he was also in these years writing two other books in which he tried to resolve the troubling implications of the opening vignette.  These things the narrator remembers during the several hours while Recollection Creek flowed again.  2).  In truth, Fred Gipson never knew his grandparents, and his family was turn­of­the­century new in Mason County.

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