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The Whole Story

In response to:

Shook-up Generation from the May 18, 1967 issue

To the Editors:

A very kind letter from Mr. Alfred Kazin, in response to my review of several new works of American literary history [NYR, May 18] has indirectly brought to my attention a possible misinterpretation of what I wrote, which I would like to do everything I can to correct. In quoting, from the Preface to On Native Grounds, Mr.Kazin’s own apologies for not telling there the whole story of turn-of-the-century American literature. I wanted merely to point out that the whole story remained to be told—not that, in any way, shape or manner, Mr.Kazin had failed at the telling. Only the first third of On Native Grounds deals with the 1890-1907 period; yet it captures more of the life and the quality of the period than anything else published in the past quarter of a century, or before. Messrs. Pizer, Ziff, and Martin, the authors under review, were following respectfully in Mr.Kazin’s footsteps, as are all of us who care about American literary history.

Ellen Moers

New York City

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