Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1960. First edition. Octavo. Orange wrappers. Sunning to spine with scattered rubbing and spotting to text block. Author’s name sticker to front cover verso. Very good-plus. Item #58
Marion Montgomery’s (1925–2011) personal copy of his first book of poetry. Montgomery was an American poet, novelist, educator, and critic and, like his personal friend and literary companion, Flannery’ O’Connor, a modern Thomist (or, as he and O’Connor referred to themselves, a “Hillbilly Thomist”). He taught English at the University of Georgia for over thirty years and was a prolific writer, publishing three novels, a volume of short stories, poetry, numerous works of literary criticism, and a number of books applying the Thomistic tradition to modern culture and American literature. Montgomery’s magnum opus is often considered to be his trilogy The Prophetic Poet and the Spirit of the Age—more commonly known by their individual titles: Why Flannery O’Connor Stayed Home, Why Poe Drank Liquor, and Why Hawthorne was Melancholy—in which he evaluates the American popular spirit from a Thomistic perspective. His literary and poetic works were influenced by the Fugitive–Agrarian Movement that included John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, and Cleanth Brooks, and his own works are often recognized as the best of the movement’s “second generation.” Dry Lightning was Montgomery’s first book of poetry, and this copy comes from his own library, bearing Montgomery’s personal identification sticker on the inside of the front cover.