There are no doubts about Sherwood Anderson’s kindness, the quality of his writing, the gentleness of his message, the goodness of it. I simply find it difficult to listen, pulled aside by the images he chooses for men and women, the one I am assigned and excluded from. The images are disturbing, distracting.
I got into a group of people one evening in Paris. It was at a house belonging to some wealthy Frenchman but leased to an American woman. I was taken there to dine by an American writer, a very popular and successful writer.
Wycke, I knew, had thought of his eyes as prisms, capable of seeing many points of view at once. They sat in deep dark sockets, alert, cautious, and ever vulnerable, like two small animals uneasy in their burrows. When the phone awakened us in the middle of the night, and I heard my mother whisk across the hall past my bedroom, pick up the receiver, pause, then scream to my father, “Oh, honey, Wycke’s been in an automobile accident and he’s been killed!”, it was those eyes I thought of first.