Reflections in a Golden Eye

“An artistic vision of a human hell…. This particular hell is an army post in the South. Its inhabitants: a sexually disturbed officer; his sensual animal of a wife; his fellow-officer and wife’s lover; a delicate, sensitive woman who must live with her husband’s infidelity; and the driven young private who brings the searing drama to a head. From these elements, one of America’s superlative writers has produced a vision of existence as terrible as it is real – a shattering voyage into the depths of human hatred and desire.” — 1970 paperback cover.

“In its sphere, the novel is a masterpiece. It is as mature and finished as Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, though still more specialized. Its story is about life as Carson McCullers sees fit to create it in a Southern Army camp, and is almost desperately psychomedical. Within its 183 pages a child is born (some of whose fingers are grown together), an Army captain suffers from bisexual impotence, a half-witted private rides nude in the woods, a stallion is tortured, a murder is done, a heartbroken wife cuts off her nipples with garden shears.” – Time. Feb. 17, 1941.

“It is a more tightly bound tale, more confidently constructed than the first, but the complete answer as to Carson McCuller’s ability as a writer is not here. Again she shows a sort of subterranean and ageless instinct for probing the hidden in men’s hearts and minds, again a strange grace of movement in exploring dark channels of disturbing moods. But the final impression she leaves with the reader is not of creative perfection, but of his waking up from a nightmare, of relief in knowing that what has passed was neither real nor probable.” – New York Herald Tribune Books, Feb. 16, 1941.

“As spokeman for the publishers, Louis Untermeyer calls Reflections in a Golden Eye one of the “most compelling, one of the ‘most uncanny stories ever written in America.’ This is not an unusual phrase to find on the jacket of a novel. The unusual thing is that it is perfectly true.” – Kansas City Star. Feb 15, 1941.


A List of Resources

Links Pertaining to the Book

“Ways of Seeing: THE PORTRAIT and REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE” reviewed by Stedman Mays

Links Pertaining to the Movie Version

Internet Movie Database – Reflections in a Golden Eye