LETTERSnBuzzards andnDodosnGeorge Core (Editor of thenSewanee Review) Talks WithnGeorge Garrett About thenQuarterhesnShortly following his appearance onna panel about book reviewing at thenannual Miami Book Fair, this interviewnwith George Core took place in an15th-story hotel room high abovendowntown Miami, its boarded-up storefrontsnand decay, its winos and druggiesnmercifully out of sight. A quiet, lightfillednroom with a view of Biscayne Baynand Miami Beach beyond that. Annoccasional jet gliding toward MiaminInternational Airport. Oddest andnseemingly most incongruous of all,nflocks of buzzards soaring on the airnhigh above downtown Miami. Whatnbrings them here? Neither of us,nGeorge Gore or myself, has ever seennbuzzards in an urban setting, though wenhave both read about them as a fact ofnlife in the cities of Third World nations.nIt’s all of it, high and low, a far cryn50/CHRONICLESnVITAL SIGNSnfrom Sewanee, Tennessee, the lightlynpopulated, 10,000-acre domain of thenUniversity of the South, isolated andnbeautiful atop a mountain, where in angray gothic-style building the SewaneenReview has its offices.nWe are still talking about the themesnof the panel on book reviewing and thennews of the day.n”Isn’t that a chilling story about thatnBret Easton Ellis?” Gore asks. “Readingnbetween the lines, I found that itnsounds absolutely repulsive. Yet whatncomes across in the press is that thenwife of the GEO of the company thatnowns Simon & Schuster is anothernMrs. Doubleday suppressing a work asngreat as Sister Carrie, which is nonsense,nof course.” This latter-day Mrs.nDoubleday tried to carry out a publicnservice — at great expense to Simon &nSchuster; but her efforts were immediatelynthwarted by Random House,nwhich to its immense discredit andnobvious greed is now publishing thisnwretched book, which might make thenMarquis de Sade blush with shame.n”We are faced with the fact thatnreading is a dying art. People read thisnkind of trash, this new novel, AmericannPsycho, that certainly is worthy of beingnsuppressed if anything ever hasnbeen. We are going to be in bad shapenif Jesse Helms starts deciding the artisticntaste of the country. I also thinknwe’re going to be in bad shape if worknas bad as this Bret Ellis novel, work thatnbad, isn’t suppressed occasionally.n”It’s not really being suppressed, ofncourse; it’s being rejected. But whatnhappens is that the word censorshipncomes up and a great many people getnexercised. You shouldn’t censor artnonce it is in the public domain. But ifnyou couldn’t censor books in somenform and at some stage before they arenavailable to the public, then everythingnwould see print in one form or another.nThe book reviewer ought to be preparednto say that something is rubbish.nGeorge Woodcock once said aboutnsome very bad book he reviewed fornnnme that it was a waste of good trees.”nSpeaking of the earlier panel discussion.nGore says: “The operative wordnin all that conversation was ‘entertainment.’nI would have been happier ifnthey talked about being lively and entertaining,nbut not about simply providingnentertainment for their readers.nWhat a lot of these people don’t understandnis that book reviewing oughtnto be a department of criticism. Itnshouldn’t be entertainment or news ornsomething else that is ephemeral byndefinition.n”I think a lot of people start readingnquarterlies by reading the book reviews;nthen they go on and read thenfiction and the essays and the poetry.nSome of the quarterly editors haven’tnfigured out how important the booknreview is in the economy of the magazine—nif for no other reason than thatnthey have to get ads. And they have tonkeep getting review copies.”n* * *nA native of Lexington, Kentucky,nGeorge Gore was educated at TransylvanianGollege, Vanderbilt, and GhapelnHill. He served as an officer for fournyears (1960-1964) in the U.S. MarinenGorps. He is editor or coeditor of somenfive scholarly and critical books dealingnlargely with American literature. Forthcomingnare The Literalists of the Imagination:nSouthern Letters and thenNew Criticism (L.S.U.), a study of thencriticism of Ransom, Tate, Brooks,nWarren and other New Gritics. Somenyears ago, together with the novelistnand critic Walter Sullivan, he wrotenWriting From the Inside (Norton), antextbook on composition. Gore hasnreviewed for numerous publicationsnand was senior editor of the Universitynof Georgia Press from 1968 to 1973,nwhen he began editing the SewaneenReview.n”The experience I had at the Universitynof Georgia Press was enormouslynhelpful in terms of editing the magazine.nI picked up a fair amount ofninformation about design and produc-n