The Discovery

The old saw tells us that all things come to those who wait. And what a joy it is to find Andrew Lytle, in his vigorous 80's, receiving his just due, however late. The Richard Weaver Award by The Ingersoll Foundation, a generous grant by the Lyndhurst Foundation for his contribution to his Southern culture, honorary degrees from colleges hither and yon, and the recent appreciation of the Southern Agrarian Movement, with all its literary and social implications, all testify to his stature as a man and a writer. A full literary biography is in the making, his books are being gradually republished, and now we have at last the first complete critical appreciation of Lytle's contribution to American writing.

Mark Lucas' The Southern Vision of Andrew Lytle is, I believe, only the second book devoted exclusively to Lytle as an artist in his own right rather than as a member of a now-celebrated group of writers. There have been bibliographies, scattered essays, and a fine collection of criticisms edited by M.E. Bradford, all of which attest to his standing in the world of letters. As novelist, critic, and editor, Lytle has enjoyed a career spanning over 60 years. If the appreciation is late in coming, if he has sometimes labored in the shadows of his friends and cohorts—John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren—then the belated celebration is all the more welcome.

Lucas' title, however,...

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