Howling Into the Silence, Yearning for a Reply

In 1972, Dale Edmonds of Tulane University published what is, to the best of my knowledge, the first and still the longest of only a handful of scholarly studies of Carson McCullers’ “Correspondence.” Entitled “‘Correspondence’: A ‘Forgotten’ Carson McCullers Short Story,” Edmonds’ study runs to a scant 2,200 words at the end of which he declares:

I would be reluctant to say as much as I have about “Correspondence,” since the story succeeds so well on the immediate level, except for the fact that it has been virtually forgotten. “Correspondence” is no stunning achievement, but it is a unified and effective minor work of short fiction. It deserves to be redeemed from the obscurity of the pages of an early wartime New Yorker to amuse — perhaps delight — readers who are still capable of being touched by the universal plight of adolescence.

There are three things to say in response to these comments. Continue reading