worse, in real time and place. Therefore,rnAmerican history is not a reservoir of officiallyrnapproved slogans and abstractrnpropositions, but a living experience. Forrnthis reason Garrett can in three-and-ahalfrnpages say more that is original, true,rnand significant about the Civil Warrnthan any number of pompous pseudointellectualsrnin 15 hours of governmentsubsidizedrnTV.rnThe writer who emerges from this richrncontext is not the logistical manager of arncareer; he is a child of history and a partrnof it. If we are going to have cultural relativism,rnGarrett observes, let’s really havernit. Let’s forgive other generations forrnthe sin of not being like us, as well asrnother cultures:rnMuch was probably wrong withrnold America .. . and eager historiansrnare busy telling us as muchrnabout their sins and follies as theyrncan hnd out or imagine. Butrnsomehow . . . the old Americansrncreated the place and above all thernclimate of social hope and politicalrnliberty. .. . This was their intention.rnThis was their triumph.rnIt cannot be revised away by anyonernexcept a liar.rnAnd it must be forgiven by anyone who isrna Ghristian. After all, they were our people.rnGarrett’s view of the world is tough, irreverent,rnand unillusioned. Yet we find,rnat bottom, not the cheap nihilistic despairrnof contemporary fiction but a leanrnresidue of belief in the essential realitiesrnof faith, hope, courage, truth, and love.rnIt is a perfect expression of RichardrnWeaver’s “sentiment not sentimentality.”rnOne of Garrett’s Elizabethan charactersrncomments that the most heroicrnaction he ever saw was that of a man onrnhis way to the gallows who cursed hisrnwife and children and kicked his dog.rnSo we find in the works of Garrett thernconsciousness that marks Christian civilizationrnstill alive in high art and in arntime of troubles and a century of horrors.rnFrom this we can take some hope,rnthough not fatuous optimism. As Garrettrnwrites, after looking over the photornimages of our Civil War forebears:rnSomething has happened to thernAmerican face. .. . Somehow thernstandard-issue American face hasrnchanged over from its apparentrnmaterial of cut stone, pouredrnbronze, or whittled hardwood intornsomething else, something muchrnlike molded plastic or (on a badrnday) Silly Putty. And smiling. Almostrnalways smiling.rnThis mingling of artistic imaginationrnand empirical observation, which penetratesrnat once to the heart of matters, isrnwhat we have come to expect from ourrnmost consummate man of letters in thisrnlate day.rnClyde Wilson is a professor of Americanrnhistory at the University of SouthrnCarolina and the editor of The Papersrnof John C. Calhoun.rnThe State of the ArtrnbyJ.O. TaternRevelation and Other FictionrnFrom the Sewanee Review:rnA Centennial AnthologyrnEdited by George CorernLouisville: Harmony House;rn304 pp., $24.95rnThis volume of short stories seemsrnto me to represent, as a book, tworndistinct levels of meaning. The first andrnmost insistent of these levels is of coursernas a diverse gathering of brilliant fictions,rneach one a self-justifying experience.rnThe variety of voices and subjects is itselfrnrefreshing and rewarding; the high standardrnof excellence suggests that the inclusionrnof each story was a judgmentrnmade by an informed and discriminatingrnintelligence.rnThe multiple juxtapositions strikernmany sparks, but before I remark onrnsome of those specific flashes of illumination,rnI want to point to a second butrnno means negligible level of meaningrnimplied by this anthology. I refer specificallyrnto Revelation as a centennial anthologyrnand to the literary tradition or associationrnthat is celebrated by thisrngathering of stories. The volume is arnpart of the centennial of the SewaneernReview that was observed last fall, andrnmore. It commemorates the superb fictionrnthat has been published by the reviewrnfor five decades, since Andrew Lyticrnand the late Allen Tate began there inrnthe 1940’s. John Palmer continued thernpractice, as did Monroe Spears in thernI950’s. Andrew Lytle maintained thernstandard he himself had set during hisrnsecond editorship, from 1961 to 1973.rnSince then, George Core has, to say thernleast, maintained the tradition for 20rnmore years.rnIn this context, we must be remindedrnof Andrew Lytle’s anthology of 1971,rnCraft and Vision, which, like GeorgernCore’s, contains 17 works from the SewaneernReview. I hasten to say that theserncollections have only one story in common,rnAndrew Lytle’s “The Guide,” or asrnhe called it later, “The MahoganyrnFrame.” There are some writers in commonrnhere, naturally enough: EudorarnWelty, Peter Taylor, Flannery O’Connor,rnand Madison Jones are four of thernbest in the history of American literaturernand are represented as they should orrneven must be—though not by the samernstories.rnBack m 1971, Mr. Lytle mcludedrnworks by William Faulkner, CarolinernGordon, and Robert Penn Warren, forrnobvious reasons. But now George Core,rnwhile not scanting the past, has chosenrnmore contemporary works from perhapsrna wider range of writers, reflecting hisrnown editorial presence. Reading AndrewrnLytle’s 1971 foreword, I find manyrnof the distinctions he made then to bernstill valid for the editor of this distinguishedrnliterary quarterly but also stillrnunheeded by a nation that seems preoccupiedrnwith bad fiction, worse movies,rnaesthetic quota systems, and artistic setasides.rnLytle declared, “The stories arernwritten out of a conscious use of therncraft. As widely different as are the subjectsrnand styles, this fiction representsrnthe oldest tradition in the world, the perpetualrnunderstanding of the humanrnpredicament and the sense that it canrnonly be imparted formally In the endrnthe sudden discovery of form and subjectrnconjoined is a mystery. It is instantaneous;rnand nobody, including the author,rntakes in quite how the two fuse andrnthus allow the drama to unfold.” Whatrnhe said then still goes. And that whatrnMr. Lytle called “an excellence whichrnwill sustain this magazine’s tradition . . .rnthis formal sense of craftsmanship” isrnstill a vital criterion at Sewanee, asrnGeorge Core has made perfectly clear.rnThere is a sense of tradition, then, inrnCore’s anthology, not only in the excellencernthat we now come to expect, butrnalso in the presence of artistic connec-rnAUGUST 1993/41rnrnrn