Poems, sketches, profiles, and satires which clearly predict that Eudora Welty would become one of the South’s comic geniuses
Eudora Welty (1909-2001), in her writing and in her conversation, had a dazzling and ironic wit. Many friends remember the laughter she provoked through her sense of the absurd. Early Escapades explores the initial manifestations of her comic and creative energy, from the poems of her adolescence to the promising parodies and caricatures she wrote and drew as a young adult. The compilation includes pen-and-ink drawings as well as caricatures, limericks, poems, essays, editorial pieces, and society notes written by the young Welty. The earliest example of her work here is a reproduction of a small handmade book she wrote and illustrated to entertain her brother Edward. Titled The Glorious Apology, the book is a collage of parodied newspaper and magazine clippings that tell the rollicking story of one Fitzhugh Green, son of the "whispering saxophonist" Artimus H. Green.
Early Escapades offers a prelude to Welty's mature fiction where her sharp comic sensibilities focused on deeply rooted issues: the ambiguity of relationships, the complex struggles for power in families and communities, the duality of people's perceptions. Her comedic work is a trenchant commentary on the way we lead our lives. Whether through her writings or drawings, Welty created laughter from the painful condition of being human. Early Escapades shows how Welty's art, even in its nascent stages, embraced the world's marvels, chaos, and mystery with passionate sympathy.