Winter 1939 • Vol. I No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 1939 |

The Sorrows of Thomas Wolfe

Thomas Wolfe is dead. And that big work which he was prepared to write, which was to have gone to six long volumes and covered in the course of its narrative the years between 1781 and 1933, with a cast of characters whose numbers would have run into the hundreds, will never be finished. The title which he had chosen for it, Of Time and the River, had already been allowed to appear on the second volume. There its application is not altogether dear; how appropriate it would have been to the work as a whole we can only conjecture. No work of such magnitude has been projected by another of his generation in America; Wolfe’s imagination, it appears, could conceive on no smaller scale. He was, he confesses, devoted to chance; he had no constant control over his faculties; but his fecundity was nothing less than prodigious. He had, moreover, a tenacity which must, but for his dying, have carried him through to the end. Dying, he left behind him a mass of manuscript; how much of it ca

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The Arts

By John Peale Bishop

Thomas Wolfe is dead. And that big work which he was prepared to write, which was to have gone to six long volumes and covered in the course of its […]

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