The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter


  Sells South Hill to friends George and Toni Willison. Buys, then relinquishes, 80 acres of mountain property in High Mojave Desert. Welcomes nephew Paul, who visits California after tour of duty in France. Excerpt from “No Safe Harbor” published in Accent. Memoir “A Christmas Story” appears in Mademoiselle. In desperate financial straits due to unwise management, moves into guest wing of Hollywood house of George Platt Lynes.


  Works briefly for Columbia Pictures on adaptation of Chekhov’s story “La Cigale.” Excerpt from “No Safe Harbor” appears in The Sewanee Review. Meets Christopher Isherwood and Texas novelist William Goyen. Negative critical essay on the life and work of Gertrude Stein (“The Wooden Umbrella”) published in Harper’s.


  Friendship with Josephine Herbst suffers final rupture when Herbst publishes an attack, “Miss Porter and Miss Stein,” in Partisan Review, and Somewhere the Tempest Fell, a novel featuring barely disguised, unflattering portraits of Glenway Wescott, Monroe Wheeler, George Platt Lynes, and Porter. Speaks at the University of Kansas; meets Isabel Bayley, who will become a lifelong friend. Begins yearlong appointment at Stanford, and is insulted and angry that her classes will carry no credit; becomes friends with faculty members Richard and Ann Scowcroft, Janet Lewis, and Yvor Winters. “Love and Hate” (“The Necessary Enemy”) appears in Mademoiselle.


  Receives Litt.D. from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, the first of many honorary doctorates. As a Fellow in American Letters of the Library of Congress, is member of the jury that awards Bollingen Prize to Ezra Pound. Teaches summer courses at Stanford. Returns to New York, where she shares an apartment with her niece Ann.


  Speaks at colleges and universities, and at the 92nd Street Y. “The Flower of Flowers” and “A Note on Pierre Joseph Redouté” appear in Flair. At Manhattan cocktail party encounters a drunken Dylan Thomas, who lifts her to the ceiling in apparent tribute. Three excerpts from “No Safe Harbor” published in successive issues of Harper’s, October through December. Becomes close friends with protégés J. F. Powers, Peter Taylor, and William Humphrey. Begins two-year term as co-vice-president of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.


  Begins yearlong affair with William Goyen. Signs contract with Harcourt, Brace for “The Days Before,” a selection from 30 years of essays, book reviews, and other short prose; in lieu of advance accepts in-house position as literary adviser. Speaks at Millsaps College, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the Mississippi State College for Women. “‘Marriage Is Belonging’” appears in Mademoiselle.


  Joins American delegation in Paris for five-week International Congress for Cultural Freedom and speaks at opening session. Retreats to secluded inn in Pont-Aven to write introduction to “The Days Before” but, tired and unconfident, finds she can manage only a brief foreword. “Reflections on Willa Cather” published in Mademoiselle. Returns to Paris and enjoys reunions with her French translator, Marcelle Sibon, and bookseller Sylvia Beach. Returns to New York, and moves into apartment at 117 East 17th Street. The Days Before published by Harcourt, Brace.


  Speaks at several colleges and universities. Visits Ezra Pound at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C. In a talk at the Corcoran Gallery, speaks out against congressional inquiries into communism on college campuses. Reads poetry on NBC radio network. Begins yearlong appointment as writer-in-residence at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Excerpt from “No Safe Harbor” published in Harper’s.


  Suffers attack of angina while teaching class. “A Defense of Circe” published in Mademoiselle. Meets and is charmed by Seymour Lawrence, editor at The Atlantic and The Atlantic Monthly Press, an imprint of Little, Brown. Receives Litt.D. at the University of Michigan. Begins appointment as Fulbright Fellow in Liège, Belgium. Reads “The Circus” on BBC radio. At Christmas, makes first visit to Rome.


  Hospitalized for three weeks with influenza; relinquishes remainder of Fulbright assignment and returns to New York in February. “Adventure in Living” (“St. Augustine and the Bullfight”) published in Mademoiselle. Paperback selection of previously collected material, The Old Order: Stories of the South, published by Harcourt, Brace. Leases secluded house on Roxbury Road in Southbury, Connecticut, to work on “No Safe Harbor.” Brother Paul dies, September 19. After death of Donald Brace, leaves Harcourt, Brace for Atlantic–Little, Brown, where Seymour Lawrence is her new editor.


  Changes title of “No Safe Harbor” to “Ship of Fools.” Objects to Lawrence’s calling her “woman writer” in catalog copy. Excerpts from “Ship of Fools” published in The Atlantic Monthly and Mademoiselle. Rests at Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C., before embarking on 15-college lecture tour. Meets Barbara Thompson, who interviews her for The Washington Post and becomes trusted friend. Essay “Noon Wine: The Sources” published in The Yale Review. Endorses Adlai Stevenson for president.


  With financial support from Atlantic–Little, Brown, works with few distractions on “Ship of Fools.” Reads at the 92nd Street Y, New York City.


  Discusses Henry James on CBS television program Camera Three. Receives Litt.D. from Smith College and meets commencement speaker, Massachusetts senator John F. Kennedy. Vacates Southbury house. Excerpt from “Ship of Fools” appears in Mademoiselle. Retreats to Outpost Inn in Ridgefield, Connecticut, for a month’s work on “Ship of Fools.” Spends fall semester as writer-in-residence at the University of Virginia. Meets Flannery O’Connor. Speaks at Auburn University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Texas at Austin.


  Spends spring semester as writer-in-residence at Washington and Lee University. Lectures on Mark Twain at the University of California, Los Angeles. Excerpt from “Ship of Fools” published in Texas Quarterly. Receives $26,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to complete “Ship of Fools.” Rents house at 3112 Q Street in Georgetown.


  Continues to work on “Ship of Fools.” Story “The Fig Tree,” written in the 1920s, published in Harper’s. Returns to Mexico to speak under auspices of the U.S. Department of State. Participates with Flannery O’Connor and Caroline Gordon in “Recent Southern Fiction,” a panel discussion at Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia. “Holiday,” another story written in the 1920s, published in The Atlantic Monthly.


  Accepts invitation from President-elect John F. Kennedy to attend inauguration. Presents Regents lecture at the University of California, Riverside. Withdraws to Yankee Clipper Inn on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, to finish “Ship of Fools”; dates completed manuscript “Yaddo, August 1941-Pigeon Cove, August 1961.” Seymour Lawrence launches publicity campaign for novel by selling bookclub rights to the Book-of-the-Month Club.


  Ship of Fools published by Atlantic–Little, Brown to positive reviews and great commercial success. Movie rights sold to United Artists for $400,000. Turns over literary representation and business affairs to agent Cyrilly Abels, formerly her editor at Mademoiselle. Takes month-long vacation in Italy and Sicily with niece Ann. Purchases designer clothes and 21-carat emerald ring encrusted with diamonds. Awarded the Emerson-Thoreau Medal by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Deposits papers temporarily at the Library of Congress. Receives Litt.D. from LaSalle College. Long negative review of Ship of Fools by Theodore Solotaroff appears in Commentary, occasioning heated debate among readers, critics, and literary journalists. Leaves for yearlong stay in Europe.


  In Rome collaborates with writer Abby Mann on the screenplay for Ship of Fools. Receives $1,000 prize from the Texas Institute of Letters. Buys lavish furnishings in Europe. Returns home in November to the shock of the Kennedy assassination. Inducted into the University of Maryland’s cha
pter of Phi Beta Kappa. Attends luncheon at White House hosted by President and Mrs. Johnson.


  After reneging on offer to purchase house in Georgetown, becomes mired in legal morass. Continues to accept speaking engagements at colleges and universities. Leases large house at 3601 49th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Lectures at the Instituto Cultural Norteamericano in Mexico City.


  The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, comprising the three earlier collections and four fugitive stories, published by Harcourt, Brace. Follows Seymour Lawrence to Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., and then to Delacorte Press. Signs contracts with Lawrence for “The Devil and Cotton Mather” and her collected essays and occasional writings. Film version of Ship of Fools, directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Vivien Leigh, Lee Marvin, Simone Signoret, and others, is box-office success.


  The Collected Stories wins National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize. Receives honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Maryland, College Park, and announces eventual donation of papers to university library. Inducted into the 50-member American Academy of Arts and Letters. Begins personal and professional association with attorney E. Barrett Prettyman Jr.


  Presides over first meeting of The Katherine Anne Porter Foundation, established to provide financial support to younger writers. Accepts Gold Medal in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


  Spends first week of January hospitalized with influenza. At home, receives numerous visitors, whom she entertains with lavish meals and fine wine.


  Moves to townhouse at 5910 Westchester Park Drive, College Park. Becomes member of usage panel for The American Heritage Dictionary. Begins choosing and revising pieces for her collected essays. Spends four weeks in Washington Hospital Center after falling down stairs. Editing of essay collection completed by Lawrence and literary friends. Sister Gay dies, December 28.


  The Collected Essays and Occasional Writings of Katherine Anne Porter published by Seymour Lawrence–Delacorte. Falls and breaks hip; spends two months in convalescent home. Moves to double apartment on top floor of 6100 Westchester Park Drive. Meets Clark Dobson and John David (Jack) Horner, young men who escort her to area social events. Meets Kathleen Feeley and Maura Eichner, sisters of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, who will guide her to a rite of reconciliation with the Roman Catholic Church on December 8.


  “The Spivvleton Mystery,” a comic story written in 1926, published in The Ladies’ Home Journal. Undergoes cataract surgery. Delivers keynote speech at “The Year of the Woman,” a seminar at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.


  Receives Creative Arts Award for lifetime achievement in literature from Brandeis University. Returns Emerson-Thoreau Medal to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences when she learns that the Academy, for political reasons, has refused to consider Ezra Pound for the same award. Heart condition worsens. On assignment from Playboy, takes cruise ship to Florida to write eyewitness account of Apollo 17 moon shot; the launch is “glorious” but the article never completed. Gives inaugural lecture at the newly opened Katherine Anne Porter Room of McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland.


  Sister Baby dies, May 21. Dissolves The Katherine Anne Porter Foundation.


  Names Isabel Bayley her literary trustee. In private ceremony at home, receives honorary degree from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Revises “The Land That Is Nowhere,” a fragment of autobiography written decades earlier, for publication in Vogue.


  “Notes on the Texas I Remember” appears in The Atlantic Monthly. Receives a rubbing of mother’s Indian Creek gravestone from Roger Brooks, president of Howard Payne University, in her native Brown County, Texas. Hires retired naval commander William R. Wilkins as personal assistant.


  Delivers Frances Steloff lecture at Skidmore College. In May, travels to Brownwood, Texas, to receive honorary degree from Howard Payne University and attend county-wide 86th-birthday celebration. Visits mother’s grave at Indian Creek. Gives final public reading, at the 92nd Street Y. Feeling unwell at year’s end, enters Johns Hopkins Medical Center for comprehensive tests.


  While in hospital suffers two major strokes. Returns home in early spring to round-the-clock nursing care. “The Never-Ending Wrong,” a memoir of the Sacco-Vanzetti case, published in The Atlantic Monthly and then as a short book by Atlantic–Little, Brown. Mental abilities deteriorate. When judged incompetent by psychiatrist, court appoints nephew Paul Porter her legal guardian.


  Experiences severe seizure in December. Graduate student Jane DeMouy becomes her friend and visits her regularly.


  Meets Ted Wojtasik, a young college graduate who helps organize her letters for eventual publication, a project later realized by Isabel Bayley. Receives visitors Monroe Wheeler, Robert Penn Warren, and Eleanor Clark, and calls, cards, and gifts from Isabel Bayley, Eudora Welty, Barbara Thompson, and other devoted friends.


  Moves to Carriage Hill Nursing Home in Silver Spring, Maryland. Friends gather for 90th birthday party. Sister Maura Eichner and Sister Kathleen Feeley visit regularly, accompanied by Father Joseph Gallagher, who hears confession and administers Eucharist (“I’m busy dying. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done”). Dies September 18, with Jane DeMouy by her side. Ashes buried the following spring in a plot adjacent to her mother’s grave in Indian Creek Cemetery.

  Note on the Texts

  This volume contains The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, prepared by the author and published in 1965, together with an extensive selection of the essays, book reviews, and other short nonfiction prose that Katherine Anne Porter published in books and periodicals between 1920 and 1977.

  The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter was published by Harcourt, Brace & World in September 1965. It comprises the contents of three earlier collections—Flowering Judas and Other Stories (1935), Pale Horse, Pale Rider: Three Short Novels (1939), The Leaning Tower and Other Stories (1944)—and four previously uncollected stories, “Virgin Violeta,” “The Martyr,” “The Fig Tree,” and “Holiday,” together with a foreword, “Go, Little Book. . . ,” written specially for the volume. The text printed here is taken from the first printing of The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter.

  Prior to being given the order they have in The Collected Stories, these stories were collected in various groupings. Porter’s first collection, Flowering Judas (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1930), was printed in an edition limited to 600 copies and contained six stories: “María Concepción,” “Magic,” “Rope,” “He,” “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” and “Flowering Judas.” “Hacienda” appeared as a small book (New York: Harrison of Paris, 1934) printed in an edition limited to 895 copies. Flowering Judas and Other Stories (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1935) collected the contents of the two earlier publications as well as three additional stories, arranged in the following sequence: “María Concepción,” “Magic,” “Rope,” “He,” “Theft,” “That Tree,” “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” “Flowering Judas,” “The Cracked Looking-Glass,” and “Hacienda.” The Modern Library edition of Flowering Judas and Other Stories (1940) reprinted the contents of the 1935 edition, with a new introduction by Porter (the introduction is printed on pages 716–18 of the present volume).

  Pale Horse, Pale Rider: Three Short Novels was published by Harcourt, Brace & Co. in 1939. It contained “Old Mortality,” “Noon Wine,” and “Pale Horse, Pale Rider.” Porter dedicated the collection to her father, Harrison Boone Porter.

  The Leaning Tower and Other Stories was published by Harcourt, Brace & Company in 1944. It contained nine stories: “The Source,” “The Witness,” “The Circus,” “
The Journey” (as “The Old Order”), “The Last Leaf,” “The Grave,” “The Downward Path to Wisdom,” “A Day’s Work,” and “The Leaning Tower.” Porter dedicated the collection to her nephew, Corporal Harrison Paul Porter, Jr.

  The Old Order: Stories of the South was published by Harvest Books, the paperback imprint of Harcourt, Brace & Co., in 1955. It reprinted previously collected material in the following sequence: “The Old Order,” a cycle of six stories comprising “The Source,” “The Journey” (as “The Old Order”), “The Witness,” “The Circus,” “The Last Leaf,” and “The Grave,” followed by “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” “He,” “Magic,” and “Old Mortality.”

  The contents of The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter first appeared in books and periodicals as follows:

  Flowering Judas and Other Stories: “María Concepción,” The Century Magazine (December 1922); “Virgin Violeta,” The Century Magazine (December 1924); “The Martyr,” The Century Magazine (July 1923); “Magic,” transition (Summer 1928); “Rope,” The Second American Caravan, edited by Alfred Kreymborg and others (New York: The Macaulay Co., 1928); “He,” New Masses (October 1927); “Theft,” The Gyroscope (November 1929); “That Tree,” Virginia Quarterly Review (July 1934); “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” transition (February 1929); “Flowering Judas,” Hound & Horn (Spring 1930); “The Cracked Looking-Glass,” Scribner’s Magazine (May 1932); “Hacienda” (New York: Harrison of Paris, 1934).

  Pale Horse, Pale Rider: “Old Mortality,” The Southern Review (Spring 1937); “Noon Wine,” Signatures (as a work-in-progress, Spring 1936) and Story (in completed form, June 1937); “Pale Horse, Pale Rider,” The Southern Review (Winter 1938).

  The Leaning Tower and Other Stories: “The Source,” Accent (Spring 1941); “The Journey” (as “The Old Order”), The Southern Review (Winter 1936); “The Witness” (as “Uncle Jimbilly,” the first item under the heading “Two Plantation Portraits”), Virginia Quarterly Review (January 1935); “The Circus,” The Southern Review (July 1935); “The Last Leaf” (the second item under the heading “Two Plantation Portraits”), Virginia Quarterly Review (January 1935); “The Fig Tree,” Harper’s Magazine (June 1960); “The Grave,” Virginia Quarterly Review (April 1935); “The Downward Path of Wisdom,” Harper’s Bazaar (December 1939); “A Day’s Work,” The Nation (February 10, 1940); “Holiday,” The Atlantic Monthly (December 1960); “The Leaning Tower,” The Southern Review (Autumn 1941).

Previous Page Next Page
Should you have any enquiry, please contact us via OnlineBooks