There are stories, and then there are stories within stories. This is one of the latter.
In 1981, upon the publication of Robert Drake’s The Home Place, I wrote a review of it for Modern Age (Fall 1981) which I entitled “A Concelebration of Verities.” I suppose that title captured some element of the book, but as I look back now after forty years, it strikes me as awfully pretentious. Well, I was a young college professor feeling his oats—what more needs to be said?
Anyway, Mr. Drake was favorably impressed with the review—it was indeed highly laudatory—and he wrote me a very nice thank-you note. (At the time he was teaching at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville; I was at McNeese State University in Louisiana.) For whatever reason, I did not answer his letter, a most un-Southern thing to do as I later reflected. Was I “too busy”? Hardly an excuse. And at this late date I cannot rightly remember what was behind my lack of graciousness.
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