must ha’e, those cases of arrested developmentrntliat staff the State Departmentrnbureaucrae, plaing at empire as if tlicvrnwere grown-ups who eould grow beardsrnand father ciiildren.rn—Thomas FlemingrnA N D R E W LYTLE died on his eouclirnat liis log cabin home on December 12,rn199T. Such a passing was and will bernknown as it can onK be known by familyrnand friends who shared with him arnwealth of love. The intimacies of privacyrnwere qualified as they must be by thernritual of funeral rites and burial, and byrnthe announcement to the wodd that arnman of note was gone into liistory—andrnmystery. But for the public there wasrnand is still much to be remarked.rnAndrew Nelson L tic died in Montcaele,rnTennessee, two weeks short of hisrn93rd birthday. He left much behindrnhim—in his influence and in his books, arntremendous presence. But now too wernmust sense the force of his absence. Nornlonger will he stand before his blazingrnhearth as the very image of the generousrnhost—the most festie, the most superchargedrnof ritualists. The fire that hernlocd to stoke was an image of his internalrnenergy and spirited personality, of hisrnloc of life and zest for conviviality. Mr.rnLtle consumed his davs with gusto andrnignited them with laughter. Anyone whornhad c-er been privileged to be warmedrnb that fire or to be lifted by the bourbonrnhe dispensed from silver cups must havernsensed that to be in that hall before thatrnhearth, in the presence of that complexrnglow, was simply the best place in thernwodd to be.rnMr. Lvtle’s generosity was not, I think,rna mere social amenity, however gracious,rnbut was rather a statement, even a metaphrnsical one, of principle. To him the joyrnof life was the truth of natural abundance,rnjust as to him e’ervthing physicalrnwas animated by spirit. His storytellingrnwas as sacramental as his tomatoes andrnhis apples. Sharing thcnr was a reflectionrnof creation itself—the feast of life. Hernpointedly declined to participate in thernheresy—”the present confusion,” as herncalled it—which sanctions the image ofrnexistence rather than the substance ofrnbeing. As long as he eould, he kept uprnhis garden and always lived in tlie shadowrnof Eden. Surely he yvas, as he liked to sa’,rn”an Old Christian.”rnMr. Lytic had long since made hisrnmark, his contribution—he had seen tornit that some part of his overflowing spiritrnwas transmitted or transmuted. He didrnso in various ways. I suppose that thernmost social ways in which he did so werernh his teaching at the ITniversity of Iowa,rnat the Uniersitv of Florida, at the I’niversitvrnof the South at Sewanee, and elsewhere.rnI le did so above all as a specialistrnin “creative writing,” a term he deplored.rnHe was a writing coach and consultantrnwho took intense and unstinting interestrnin the personal deelopment of generationsrnof students, some of whom becamernthemselves accomplished writers. FlanncrvrnO’Connor and Madison Jones hernregarded as the nrost gifted young writersrnhe had known—and there were manyrnothers.rnHe also made a contribution as editorrnof the Sewanee Review, which he madernparticularly receptive to excellent fiction,rna tradition that continues today. Butrnsurely his hnest contribution, or at leastrnhis most visible one. was his own writing.rnThe sheer brilliance of Andrew Lytle’srnliterary criticism (gathered today inrnSoutherners and Kuropeans], much ofrnwhich reflected his work in the classroom,rnhas tended to obscure his evenrnmore brilliant fiction, which is the creamrnof his work. His first novel. The LongrnNight (1936), was developed from a familyrnlegend and derics great strengthrnfrom the oral tradition, as private obsessionrnis overtaken by the enveloping violencernof the Civil War. His second, Atrnthe Moon’s Inn (1941), tells the epic andrnFaustian story of De Soto’s march fromrn1^’lorida to the Mississippi, and is a fablernsolidly grounded in history. A Name forrnEvil (1947) can be seen as a daring revisionrnof I lenrv James’s The Turn of thernScreu’—and also seen as surpassing itsrnmodel. ‘The Velvet Horn (1957) is usuallyrnthought to be I ytle’s masterpiece.rnFiction did not altogether satisfyrnLytle’s need to tell stories. A Wake for thernLiving (1975) takes his ancestors andrnfamily through the cycle of Americanrnhistory, and the stories are true. Neitherrndid old age silence him nor dim hisrnresponse to literature. Kristin (1992), onrnSigrid Undset’s remarkable saga, is writtenrnas though Lytic had himself writtenrnKrisfin Lavransdatter.rnAndrew Lytle’s first creative impulsesrnwere dramatic, but his first notable writingrnwas historical and polemical. Hisrnbiography of General Nathan BedfordrnForrest (1931) still finds new readers.rnHis contribution to the symposium /’//rnTake My Stand (1930) identified him asrnthe most literal of the Agrarians, and hisrnlongevity made him the last.rnMr. Lytle’s life and work were all of arnpiece. His family was an image of histor-;rnhis environment was concrete and ultimatelyrnbiblical; his consciousness wasrnmythical; his imagination was embodiedrnin tlie words he shaped. He was unique-rnK aware that our monstrous materialismrnshrouds a profound emptiness, but alsornthat the fullness of the Creation is anrnendless abundance. I hs politics yvere thernpolities of limits but also of love. He declaredrnthat the opposite of lo’e was notrnhate, but lust for power, the results ofrnwhich we live with.rnNow we will have to live without him,rnthough not without what he left behindrnin accomplishment and in human connections.rnAndreyy L tic’s departure hasrndiminished the world of exervonc whornknew him. The answer to such a loss isrnto be found in the example of courtlyrnmanners, plavfvil humor, and ironicrnconsciousness exemplified by AndreyyrnLvtle.rn—1.0. TaternO B I T E R DICTA: WC are pleased tornwelcome novelist and essayist WilliamrnMills to our masthead as a correspondingrneditor and literary critic J.O. Tate as arncontributing editor. William Alills hasrnbeen contributing periodic travel piecesrnsuch as the “Letter From Chile” in ourrnOctober issue and the “Letter FromrnCaucasia” on page 38 of this issue. J.O.rnTate, who teaches English at DoyvlingrnCollege on Long Island, is a regular contributorrnto our book review section,rnwhose essay on Ravnrond Chandler canrnbe found on page 30.rnIn Utah, look for Chronicles at the followingrnstores: Havat’s Magazines andrnGifts, 229 South Main St., Salt LakernCity; Barnes & Noble Superstore, 7123rnSouth 1300 East St., Salt Lake City; MediarnPlay, Family Center at Fort Union,rnMidvale; Media Play, Riverdale FamilyrnCenter, Riverdale; Barnes & Noble Superstore,rn330 East 1300 South, Orem;rnBarnes & Noble Superstore, 5900 SouthrnState Rd., Murray City.rnChronicles is finally on the neyvsstandsrnin Mississippi, Nebraska, and Montana.rnIn Mississippi, look for Chronicles atrnSquare Books on the Scjuare, 1126 VanrnBuren Ave., Oxford; in Nebraska, at Nebra,rnska Book Store, 1300 Q St., Lincoln;rnin Montana, at Second Thought NewsrnDeli, 529 S. Higgins St., Missoula.rnMARCH 1996/7rnrnrn