Secger done so, however, I suspect thatnthe stories would be close parallels. Thatnis, given their backgrounds and the timenthat they came of age (during the midto-laten30’s), they would have undoubtedlyngone the same route and cultivatednthe same people, assuming more ambitionnand less willingness to become anlackey on Seeger’s part. As for Davis, shenworked as an advertising copywriter bynday, while by night she learned the newsnbusiness from a man named J. W. Terry.nTerry wrote and laid out a news sheet forna League of Nations lobby. She foundnhim as a result of having checked all thennames in the phone book that begannwith “Peace” or “League.” Davis camenup with that approach because, she explains,n”I had heard enough aboutn’Peace’ at the Farm and on Polly’s [hernmother’s] hill: Wilson’s Peace, the Protocolsnof Peace, Permanent Peace, thenFourteen Points of Peace that WalternBare, Ruined LandscapesnWright Morris: Will’s Boy: A Memoir;nHarper & Row; New York.nby Diane Long HoevelernI began to invent the Midwest out ofnmy experience, then I began to elaboratenon it.nThe slowness of time, the quality ofnlife.nThe Protestant background.nWright MorrisnIn reading Wright Morris’s autobiographynone experiences simultaneouslynboth the landscape of Midwestern Americanand the “inscape” of Morris himselfnas a child and adolescent. His phrase,n”the slowness of time,” might well describenthose particular characteristics ofnstyle that his critics either praise or damn.nThere is little action, many fragmentednDr. Hoeveler teaches in Milwaukee atnRufus King High School for the CollegenBound.nLippmann had helped Wilson’s ColonelnHouse to formulate, the League asnInstrument of Peace.” Having imbibednthe frothy brew offered by Terry, ournplucky heroine went to cover a war: thenSpanish Civil War. She becomes a regularnNancy Drew of the press corps, annintrepid young soul who was able to getnstories over the lines, where mortal mennfeared to tread. In the battle between thenprofascist “Patriots” and the proleftn”Loyalists,” it isn’t hard to predictnDavis’s sympathies. As if a page hadnbeen taken from the Seeger biography,nthe patriotic generals and their supportersnare portrayed as a bunch of brutalnboobs. It seems as if the Patriots are thenonly ones taking part in any violence, ornat least they’re the ones who are alwaysnresponsible for dropping bombs andnsuch. And this is practically everythingnthat can be said of Ms. Davis’s effort onnbehalf of the Kent State University Press.nmoments of time, an ambivalent tone,nnumerous repetitions from previouslynpublished works, and an emphasis on relationshipsnbetween characters. AlthoughnMorris is not a realist like HamlinnGarland or Sherwood Anderson, he capturesnthe texture, both external and internal,nof life in the Midwest from 1910nto 1930. In writing of “the quality ofnlife” Morris evokes the dominant themesnthat run through his more than twentynliterary works, the deep and universalnconcerns that characterize his vision: thendichotomy of past and present, the contrastnbetween rural and urban experiencesnand the relationship of the son tonthe father. His phrase, “the Protestantnbackground,” makes one aware of thenways that both his style and his themesnare influenced by that particular brand ofnMidwestern Protestantism that Morrisnimbibed firom his environment.nCritics have traditionally comparednMorris stylistically to Joyce, Woolf,nHenry James and Faulkner. But my read­nnning of this memoir compels me to suggestnthat Morris’s style springs most direcdynfrom his Protestant heritage. Hisnmother’s family was devoutly Seventh-nDay Adventist, and, although Morris rejectednthis belief, a residual Protestantnstreak has influenced not only his writingnstyle, but also his vision of the world. Henwas, by his own description, a paragon ofnthe Christian adolescent (except for anbrief stint in a Nebraska reform school forntheft). Morris worked as a prayer leadernfor a Chicago YMCA when he was anteen-ager, and he confesses to being surprisednat his ability to stand up, withoutnany coaching, and pray spontaneouslynand eloquently. At eighteen he brieflynattended a Seventh-Day Adventist college.nBoth of these encounters with evangelicalnChristianity seem to have been attemptsnto locate a center of order andnstability in his life, which was one ofnchaos and uncertainty with his father.nThere is a sense in Morris that the barrennessnof the land in Nebraska, as well asnthe Texas farm on which he worked, lednto introspection, a movement away fromnexternals to the internal world of the self,nwith its creativity, vitality and strength.nIn his attempts to escape the atrophiednand morally dead life of so many halfalivenacquaintances, Morris turned not tona flurry of activity, but to the resourcesnwithin himself. Because of this emphasisnon the internal, Morris has been labeled anKierkegaardian, an existentialist and annihilist. But it is more accurate to seenMorris as the product of a Protestantismnthat believes we must turn inward to redeemnour buried lives. The legacy ofnProtestandsm appears in Morris’s prosenstyle as well, for he writes in the mannernof a New England sermon—terse, ascetic,nunembellished except by the visionnwithin.nThe regional descriptions in the memoirn(whether they be of Nebraska farmntowns, the cities of Omaha, Chicago andnLos Angeles, or the Texas panhandle) arenalways secondary to descriptions of thencharacters who were much more instmmentalnin shaping Morris’s psyche.nBouncing from apartment to rentednMay/Jttnel98Sn