Skip to content
Vol. 9, No. 3: Fall 2003

Eudora Welty: “. . . standing under a shower of blessings”

by William R. Ferris

“One, two, three. I just waded out . . . through the muck. And then I got in his sailboat. Of course I was wet, but you can’t ask William Faulkner to wring you out, I guess. It hadn’t occurred to me until this minute that I might have.”

BILL FERRIS: Eudora, I want to ask you if you could reminisce about [Robert Penn] “Red” Warren and the friendship that you shared with him, and also with Cleanth [Brooks].

EUDORA WELTY: Well, our friendship was certainly warm and long lasting. Of course, they were so good to me from the beginning. When I was totally unknown, they encouraged me and helped me in every way. I was so indebted to both of them. You know, you didn’t meet people like them, at least in my world. It was a long time before I got to meet them, either one. But when I did go down to Baton Rouge and met them down there, we had a grand time. And I felt so picked out, you know, so favored. They had published me in the Southern Review—I guess they were the first people to publish my work anywhere. So I felt that I was very close to them, even though we didn’t meet very often. Then Red came and did a lecture one time over at Belhaven College across the street [from Welty’s house in Jackson]. I was telling him about Ross Barnett, and he laughed so hard I thought he was going to strangle. He just loved all those political tales from Mississippi. He said, “Every time I think about that night I still laugh till my ribs hurt.” But he loved choice things like that.

This article appears as an abstract above, the complete article can be accessed in Project Muse
Subscribe today!

One South, a world of stories. Delivered in four print issues a year.