Southern Scribe
    our culture of storytelling

 

Literary Classic Review    

 

 

Double Vision
by George Garrett
University of Alabama Press, 2004
Deep South Series
Hardcover, $24.95 (200 pages)
ISBN: 0-8173-1428-8
 
 
 

Combining elements from the classical precepts as well as the best experimental novels, Double Vision is brilliant. Blending fiction with fact, Garrett explores the questions of what it means to be a writer and the economic realities of being an artist in contemporary American literature. Taking its title from a play on words -- Garrett suffers from a neurological disorder causing double vision -- the novel reflects and refracts reality and imagination, memoir and fiction. 

When the fictional Garrett was asked to review the recent, much lauded, biography of the real Peter Taylor who the real Garrett's next door neighbor in Charlottesville, Virginia, Garrett ponders their relationship. Creating the character/alter ego, Frank Toomer, a writer who is in his early 70s and also suffers from double vision, and giving him a neighbor, Aubrey Carver, a short story writer whose work is well-known and set in Tennessee, allows Garrett to explore the subtle rivalries that reviewers and publishers set up between artists. 

George Garrett's work, always interesting, well-crafted, and intelligent, has been overlooked too often. Smart, engaging, and wise, Double Vision deserves a broad audience. 

The author of thirty-four books, George Garrett is the Poet Laureate of Commonwealth of Virginia. He's received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the T. S. Eliot Award, the Rome Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Ford Foundation Grant, and the Pen/Malamud Award for Short Fiction.

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews
 

2004, Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved