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Description - The Fathers by Allen Tate

The Fathers is the powerful novel by the poet and critic recognized as one of the great men of letters of our time. Old Major Buchan of Pleasant Hill, Fairfax County, Virginia, lived by a gentlemen's agreement to ignore what was base or rude, to live a life which was gentle and comfortable because it was formal. Into this life George Posey came dashing, as Henry Steele Commager observed, \u201cto defy Major Buchan, marry Susan, betray Charles and Semmes, dazzle young Lacy, challenge and destroy the old order of things.\u201d The Fathers was published in 1938. It sold respectably in both the United States and England, perhaps because people expected it to be another Gone With the Wind, wheras it is in fact the novel Gone With the Wind ought to have been. Since its publication it has received very little attention, considering that it is one of the most remarkable novels of our time. Its occasion is a public one, the achievement and the destruction of Virginia's antebellum civilization. Within that occasion it discovers a terrible conflict between two fundamental and irreconcilable modes of existence, a conflict that has haunted American experience, but exists in some form at all times. The Fathers moves between the public and the private aspects of this conflict with an ease very unusual in American novels, and this ease is the most obvious illustration of the novel's remarkable unity of idea and form, for it is itself a manifestation of the novel's central idea, that \u201cthe belief widely held today, that men may live apart from the political order, that indeed the only humane and honorable satisfactions must be gained in spite of the public order, \u201cis a fantasy.\u201d - From the introduction of The Fathers

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780804001083
ISBN-10: 0804001081
Format: Paperback
(220mm x 140mm x 21mm)
Pages: 323
Imprint: Swallow Press
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publish Date: 5-Mar-1959
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - The Fathers by Allen Tate

US Kirkus Review » This is Putnam's headliner among newcomers. Allen Tate may be a newcomer as a novelist, but his writing shows the results of years of experience in various fields of writing, he is no novice with the pen. He shows himself too as a thorough student of the Civil War - where his previous writing has been along biographical and critical lines, he has adapted his understanding of underlying motives to the needs of fiction, and given the sense of conflict an authenticity that enhances the drama. There is vitality and robustness in the picture of the life, with its chivalry, its conflicting codes of morals and accepted digressions, its social standards, its loyalties. The vast canvas of a family with all its ramifications and the community background of Georgetown, Alexandria, Washington - before and at the start of the war. The form in which the story is told gives it a unique character; though at times it seems confusing, bit by bit the pieces fall into place, as after events clarify the past for young Lacey Buchan, through whose eyes the story is enacted. One dominant figure emerges, George Posey, fascinating, somehow a trifle sinister, egotistic, loving power, generous, hot-headed, a rebel against the dictates of his caste and his times. It is a tragic story - tense with currents of animosity and conflict restrained - and it holds the interest even when it is not wholly clear...The publishers plan an extensive promotion campaign, - giant books, posters, envelope stickers, paper books. This is one of the books included in the plans for a letter contest among booksellers. Write Putnam for particulars. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Allen Tate

Allen Tate has taught both here and abroad, lectured at over 100 American universities, and published 20 books during his career as one of America's most distinguished men of letters. Tate's honors include a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Bollingen Prize for Poetry, and the Brandeis Medal Award. He was the first consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress and in 1968 served as president of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

Books By Allen Tate

Stonewall Jackson by Allen Tate
Paperback, November 1991
Collected Poems, 1919-1976 by Allen Tate
Paperback / softback,