Tag Archives: Eudora Welty

Place in Fiction

In an essay called “Place in Fiction,” written in 1956, Eudora Welty said, “The truth is, fiction depends for its life on place.” http://nbu.bg/webs/amb/american/5/welty/place.htm   By that she meant that characters, theme, even plot are made real, believable, by the reality of the setting, however fictitious that place may be.  Citing Faulkner, she notes that some critics view an emphasis on place as “regional,” i.e., unworthy of a universal audience, and responds:  “‘Regional,’ I think, is a careless term, as well as a condescending one, because what it does is fail to differentiate between the localized raw material of life and its outcome as art.  ‘Regional’ is an outsider’s term; it has no meaning for the insider who is doing the writing, because as far as he knows he is simply writing about life.  Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Thomas Hardy, Cervantes, Turgenev, the authors of the books of the Old Testament, all confined themselves to regions, great or small–but are they regional?  Then who from the start of time has not been so?” Continue reading