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Print Stories February 2, 1998
Peter Taylor
The Old Forest and Other Stories

"It seems to me that in fact Taylor has been widely misread and misunderstood, and that if and when the critical establishment arises from its present state of utter collapse, some astute critic or scholar will discover and report to us all on the depths that exist in this formidable body of work. We hear it said that Taylor's subject was the southern middle class, that his characters exist in a socially fixed world, a very ordered and mannered world, and of course the implication is inevitable that his treatments of these characters are somehow more genteel than they are anything else. The mistake here is in not recognizing Taylor's shrewd and subtle concern with evil in all its forms--from the terrible interior destruction of the denial of life and one's nature, to the gothic shapes of murder, both of spirit and body. It is all there, laid into the plain, governed sentences, perfectly clear and beautifully indirect."

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