The fathers

Front Cover
Swallow Press, 1984 - Fiction - 306 pages
3 Reviews
Set during the Civil War, The Fathers is the story of two old Virginia families, the Buchans of Pleasant Hill and the Poseys of Georgetown. It tells of the collapse of a way of life, hastened not by the onslaught of Yankees but by a tragic flaw within the civilization of the Old South. Major Lewis Buchan, patriarch of the family, is the consummate southern aristocrat; his son-in-law, George Posey, is the modern man, steeped in the southern tradition yet restless and outside it. Young Lacy Buchan, just coming into manhood, narrates the sequence of events that tears his father and brother-in-law apart and his family asunder - betrayal, rape, madness, murder, suicide - and his tale foreshadows the paradoxical love and respect Posey will ultimately command in him. In the end, both "fathers" are heroes, and the values of both are retained, a lesson not just for Lacy but for the South.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: The Fathers

User Review  - Kate - Goodreads

More than loved. Best book of my life. Read full review

Review: The Fathers

User Review  - Matt Simmons - Goodreads

A difficult and beautiful book, that frustrates you with its insistence on going nowhere--until you realize that going nowhere is exactly what Tate wanted to convey, to show as the only defensible ... Read full review



Common terms and phrases

About the author (1984)

Tate---poet, essayist, novelist, biographer, and critic---began his literary career in 1922 as an editor of The Fugitive The Fugitive, a magazine of southern poets and critics, many of them associated with Vanderbilt University. As editor and in his own works, Tate advocated regionalism, explaining that "only a return to the provinces, to the small self-contained centers of life, will put the all-destroying abstraction America safely to rest." In 1943 he held the chair of poetry in the Library of Congress. From 1944 to 1947, he edited another important journal of literary criticism, Sewanee Review. Tate claimed to be "on record as a casual essayist of whom little consistency can be expected." Nevertheless, as editor of The Fugitive and the Sewanee Review, he had a dramatic impact on the availability and evaluation of poets and prose writers. He made significant contributions to modern poetry and modern literary criticism. His poetry, usually identified as "modern metaphysical," he described as "gradually circling round a subject, threatening it and using the ultimate violence upon it." As a critic, he is generally placed with the "new" or formalist critics, though he adds a strong strain of religious humanism, reflected by his conversion in 1950 to Roman Catholicism. Tate was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1949 and won the Bollingen Prize in poetry in 1956.

Bibliographic information