Books: Life, with a Touch of the Comic

THE COLLECTED STORIES OF EUDORA WELTY

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; 622 pages; $17.50

A collection of stories is the writer's equivalent of a retrospective exhibit, handily displayed in a portable museum without walls. Works created at disparate periods and under different circumstances are finally allowed to mingle in a single volume, where they may harmonize or squabble with each other at will. In either case, an author's career is bound to look slightly different afterward, even to devoted lifelong readers. With a length of time compressed between hard covers, memory is superseded by fresh considerations...

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