Donald Davidson (1893-1968) may well be the most unjustifiably neglected figure in twentieth-century southern literature. One of the most important poets of the Fugitive movement, he also produced a substantial body of literary criticism, the libretto for an American folk opera, a widely used composition textbook, and the recently discovered novel The Big Ballad Jamboree. As a social and political activist, Davidson had significant impact on conservative thought in this century, imfluencing important scholars from Cleanth Brooks to M. E. Bradford.
Despite these accomplishments, Donald Davidson has received little critical attention from either the literary or the southern scholarly community. Where No Flag Flies is Mark Royden Winchell's redress of this critical disservice. A comprehensive intellectual biography of Davidson, this seminal work offers a complete narrative of Davidson's life with all of its triumphs and losses, frustrations and fulfillments.
Winchell provides the reader with more than a simple study of a man and his achievements; he paints a complete portrait of the times in which Davidson published, from the 1930s to the early 1960s. Davidson was more directly involved in political and social activities than most writers of his generation, and Winchell provides the context, both literary and historical, in which Davidson's opinions and works developed. At the same time, Winchell offers detailed evaluations of Davidson's poetry, fiction, historical writings, and essays.
Drawing upon a wealth of previously unpublished archival material, including Davidson's letters and diary, Where No Flag Flies provides unique access to one of the most original minds of the twentieth-century South. Donald Davidson may not have achieved the recognition he deserved, but this remarkable biography finally makes it possible for a considerable literary audience to discover his true achievement.