Core, George 1939-

views updated

CORE, George 1939-

PERSONAL: Born January 12, 1939, in Kansas City, MO; married Susan Darnell, 1960; children: four. Education: Attended Transylvania College; Vanderbilt University, B.A., 1959, M.A., 1960; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Ph.D., 1971.

ADDRESSES: Office—Sewanee Review, 735 University Ave., Sewanee, TN 37383-1000; Department of English, University of the South, Sewanee, TN 37375.

CAREER: Educator, scholar, editor, and writer. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, teaching assistant, 1965-66; Davidson College, Davidson, NC, instructor in English, 1966-68; University of Georgia, Athens, assistant professor of English and senior editor at University of Georgia Press, 1968-73; University of the South, Sewanee, TN, editor of Sewanee Review and associate professor, then adjunct professor of English, 1973—. Visiting professor, Emory University, 1976. Has evaluated manuscripts for many university presses, including University of Illinois, Louisiana State University, and University of Missouri. Consultant to National Endowment for the Humanities, 1974—. Military service: U.S. Marine Corps, officer, 1960-64.

MEMBER: Modern Language Association, Society for the Study of Southern Literature (secretary-treasurer, 1973-76), South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Fellowship of Southern Writers (treasurer).

AWARDS, HONORS: National Endowment for Humanities Younger Humanist fellow, 1972-73.



Regionalism and Beyond: Essays of Randall Stewart, foreword by Norman Homes Pearson, Vanderbilt University Press (Nashville, TN), 1968.

(With M. E. Bradford) The Southern Tradition at Bay: A History of Postbellum Thought, Arlington House (New Rochelle, NY), 1968.

(With Lodwick Hartley) Katherine Anne Porter: A Critical Symposium, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 1969.

Southern Fiction Today: Renascence and Beyond, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 1969.

(With Thomas Daniel Young) Selected Letters of John Crowe Ransom, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1985.

Revelation and Other Fiction from the Sewanee Review: A Centennial Anthology, Harmony House Publishers (Louisville, KY), 1992.

The Critics Who Made Us: Essays from the Sewanee Review, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1993.

(With John McCormick) Francis Fergusson, Sallies of the Mind, Transaction (New Brunswick, NJ), 1998.

(With H. L. Weatherby) Place in American Fiction: Excursions and Explorations, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 2004.

Contributor to periodicals, including the Sewanee Review, Virginia Quarterly, New York Times Book Review, and Washington Post Book World.

SIDELIGHTS: A literary scholar, editor, and educator, George Core has had a long tenure as editor of one of America's oldest literary magazines, the prestigious Sewanee Review, where he has served in that post since 1973. Core's own academic fields of interest are British and American literature, the works of author Henry James, contemporary literary criticism, and the Southern literary renaissance. Writing in Contemporary Southern Writers, a contributor commented that "where there is serious literary quality, the author's work may have at some point passed through Core's respectful hands and received his thoughtful encouragement, for the thirty-some years of Core's professional life have been spent fostering fine writing."

As editor of the Sewanee Review, Core has helped to cultivate the careers of such writers as historian Shelby Foote and the poet Luis D. Rubin, Jr. As quoted by Sewanee Review contributor Robert Bradford, Core once commented: "One thing that everyone who has been with the magazine has been wedded to is that something has to be well written. Writing is not profound because it is unintelligible. As long as something is well written, it is going to be taken seriously here."

Core has also served as the editor of several books, including compilations of critical essays such as a book on short-story writer Katherine Anne Porter and another on postbellum literature, specifically those writings covering the period following the U.S. Civil War and on into the early twentieth century. In his 1993 collection titled The Critics Who Made Us: Essays from the Sewanee Review, Core gathers together twenty essays by a variety of British and American literary critics who have contributed to the magazine, providing critical essays about authors such as Robert Penn Warren and George Orwell. Writing in the Review of Contemporary Fiction, Irving Malin commented on Core's "strong introduction" and called the book a "wonderful collection." Malin went on to note: "Core reminds us that criticism must offer intellectual delight." A Virginia Quarterly Review contributor noted that the fact that the essayist are primarily white, older Anglo-Saxon protestants indicates that "the volume appears to be nostalgic, even irrelevant. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. The spirited, compellingly written essays … show the subject's formative power and more: its value as a continuing model for erudition, rigor and articulacy, as well as effectiveness at fostering civil yet incisive dialogue." Core also edited, with H. L. Weatherby, a collection of essays titled Place in American Fiction: Excursions and Explorations. This collection focuses on the centrality of place in short stories and novels by American writers, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, and Eudora Welty.

As for the future of the Sewanee Review, Core expressed concerns over the decline of the number of readers interested in literary quality, telling Bradford: "People are reading more and more trash and less and less serious literature." Core went on to note, "There is a cultural crisis going on in this country, and there's not much the editor of the literary quarterly can do about it. We can just hope that the decline of reading is not going to affect people who take this magazine."



Contemporary Southern Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.


Mississippi Quarterly, winter, 1995, Kieran Quinlan, review of The Critics Who Made Us: Essays from the Sewanee Review, p. 115.

Review of Contemporary Fiction, summer, 1994, Irving Malin, review of The Critics Who Made Us, p. 233.

Sewanee Review, summer, 1992, Robert Bradford, "A Review of One Hundred Years."

Virginia Quarterly Review, summer, 1994, review of The Critics Who Made Us, p. 82.*