Vital Signs

Buzzards and Dodos

George Core (Editor of the Sewanee Review) Talks With George Garrett About the Quarterlies

Shortly following his appearance on a panel about book reviewing at the annual Miami Book Fair, this interview with George Core took place in a 15th-story hotel room high above downtown Miami, its boarded-up storefronts and decay, its winos and druggies mercifully out of sight. A quiet, light-filled room with a view of Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach beyond that. An occasional jet gliding toward Miami International Airport. Oddest and seemingly most incongruous of all, flocks of buzzards soaring on the air high above downtown Miami. What brings them here? Neither of us, George Gore or myself, has ever seen buzzards in an urban setting, though we have both read about them as a fact of life in the cities of Third World nations.

It's all of it, high and low, a far cry from Sewanee, Tennessee, the lightly populated, 10,000-acre domain of the University of the South, isolated and beautiful atop a mountain, where in a gray gothic-style building the Sewanee Review has its offices.

We are still talking about the themes of the panel on book reviewing and the news of the day.

"Isn't that a chilling story about that Bret Easton Ellis?" Gore asks. "Reading between the lines, I found that it sounds absolutely repulsive. Yet what comes across in the press is that the wife of...

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